Topton honors Memorial Day with 21-gun salute

Photo submitted by John Ungureanu Topton Memorial Day Parade on May 24.
Photo by "Tootie" Hellwig, Mertztown Horses, owned by Thomas Sparr, took veterans to the cemetery and back.

Topton held its annual Memorial Day Parade May 24.

Led by members of American Legion Post 217 (Ray A. Master) Honor Guard, Topton, the parade commenced at 6 p.m. and, with fanfare provided by the Brandywine Heights High School and Middle School bands, headed west down Centre Avenue towards the cemetery. Horse drawn wagon, owned by Thomas Sparr, took veterans to the cemetery and back. A brief ceremony was held to honor passed legionnaires before their brethren performed a 21-gun salute. The participants, including local Boy and Girl Scout Troops, then marched back to the Legion, where the ceremony was repeated and a prayer was recited.

Legion Honor Guard Commander Dave Helwig presented Brandywine Heights High School senior Kelly Sweinhart, a bugler, with its first Topton Honor Guard scholarship before she performed taps to honor the recently departed.

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Donald Batz, 69, who has lived in Topton since 1951, said this years ceremonies were pretty good, noting his appreciation for the service of his fellow countrymen. This years parade, he said, was better than last years, though he noted the absence of Toptons Drum and Bugle Corps, which he speculated was off competing. Theyre very good, he said.

After the final ceremony, participants headed into Post 217 for refreshments, including strawberries with ice cream and various baked goods.