A veteran of both the war in Afghanistan a peacekeeping mission to Bosnia, Staff Sgt. Harry Young thanked the crowd in Central Park, Monday, for the ‘unparalleled” support Wayne County has shown to military servicemen and women.


A veteran of both the war in Afghanistan a peacekeeping mission to Bosnia, Staff Sgt. Harry Young thanked the crowd in Central Park, Monday, for the "unparalleled” support Wayne County has shown to military servicemen and women.
Young is a member of the Pa. National Guard and was deployed with Company A, 2nd Battalion (Mech.) 109th Infantry, based in Honesdale. As keynote speaker at the Memorial Day ceremony, he expressed his indebtedness and gratitude for the support, and cited the long tradition of this day, going back to the first official proclamation noting Memorial Day, in 1868.
Indeed, that heritage of observance and support reaches at least as far back as the erection of the Civil War monument in the park, its bronze soldier standing guard since 1869. On Memorial Day 2009, an assembly of veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and more recent engagements, as well as those serving in peace time, were represented.  Parade marshals Bernie Harvey and Ben Smith, both who served in Vietnam, were introduced.
Manny Mirailh Jr., representing the Sons of the American Legion, Staff Sgt. Paul A. Sweeney Post 807 in Hamlin, described the symbolism of the “Empty Table” set before the stage, for the military personnel who never made it home.
His father, Manny Mirailh, the commander of Post 807, presented the first awards the post has made in memory of Sheriff Charles Morelli, who was a Post member. The “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” award was given to Joseph LoBasso, Honesdale Deputy Police Chief.  An Education and Training award was presented to acting Sheriff Mark Steelman.
Greg Myers, representing Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter #114, announced the first recipient of a new scholarship program. The $500 scholarship will go to Antonio Marinelli, a Western Wayne High School senior, whose mother is a veteran.
Captain George Murphy, commander of Company A, publicly issued a promotion to Guardsman Lt. Dan Roper, who was elevated from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant.
Members of the Lake Ariel Civil Air Patrol handed out carnations to the women in the audience. VFW Post 531 Ladies Auxiliary delivered a wreath to the POW/MIA monument. Megan Gallik sang the Star Spangled Banner. Wayne Highlands Chorus members sang “America.”