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Hundreds of area residents turned out along the parade route and in Memorial Park Cemetery as those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation were honored on Memorial Day.

The annual parade and service was sponsored by United Veterans of Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council and the City of Bethlehem. United Veterans president Ken Nichols conducted the service.

In remarks delivered on behalf of Mayor Bob Donchez, city business administrator Eric Evans said, “Even in peace our soldiers stand ready to die for our country.”

Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure spoke about the grandfather he never knew, who was a casualty during the invasion of Okinawa near the end of World War II.

Lehigh Valley Academy students Shannon Gordon, Avery Bolden and Alexis Epinger read the “Gettysburg Address,” “Flanders Fields” and “Band of Brothers.”

State Representative Steve Samuelson recalled his reading of the “Gettysburg Address” 42 years ago in his remarks.

The American Legion Band and Liberty HS School Grenadier Band provided music and Rabbi Michael Singer, a U.S. Navy chaplain, gave both the opening and closing prayers.

American Legion Post 379 provided a rifle salute and Ralph Brodt III performed “Taps” at the close of the service. The Blue Star and Gold star Mothers presented a memorial wreath.

PRESS PHOTOS BY DANA GRUBBBuglers who participated in “Taps over Bethlehem” perform several selections en masse at Memorial Park Cemetery, including the Navy Hymn, “Eternal Father Strong to Save.”