VIDEO: Southeastern Veteran Center in Spring City hosts Memorial Day parade

Members of the Greater Pennsylvania Military Vehicle Historical Society were among the volunteers who participated in the second annual Memorial Day parade at the Southeastern Veterans Center in Spring City Sunday.
Members of the Greater Pennsylvania Military Vehicle Historical Society were among the volunteers who participated in the second annual Memorial Day parade at the Southeastern Veterans Center in Spring City Sunday. Eric Devlin — Digital First Media
Todd Heckathorn, of Wernersville and the Veterans Riders Association, shakes hands of residents at the Southeastern Veterans Center in Spring City Sunday during its second annual Memorial Day parade.
Todd Heckathorn, of Wernersville and the Veterans Riders Association, shakes hands of residents at the Southeastern Veterans Center in Spring City Sunday during its second annual Memorial Day parade. Eric Devlin — Digital First Media

SPRING CITY >> Memorial Day may be less than a week away, but residents at the Southeastern Veteran Center, who won’t be able to make it to the various celebrations across our area, kicked off the holiday a little early Sunday afternoon.

The veteran center hosted a Memorial Day parade around its campus, featuring 26 local organizations participating.

Residents lined the entrance to the facility waving American flags as fire engines, police vehicles, motorcycle groups, Girl Scout troops, a horse and carriage, an alpaca from the Illusion Alpaca Ranch and classic military vehicles from the Greater Pennsylvania Military Vehicle Historical Society passed them by as they made their way around the campus.

This is the second year for the event, and was organized by Coleen Joswick, activities director and Debbie Mullane, director of nursing. They said last year’s event was so successful among the center’s 262 residents that they had to bring it back again for a second year.

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“The vets talked about it for days,” Joswick said. “They absolutely loved it.”

This year’s event was just as successful, they said.

“It went very well,” Mullane said. “The vets had a fantastic time. It’s wonderful to be able to bring a parade to them and so many in the community are willing to participate.”

A big hit among the residents, Mullane said, was the alpaca, which stopped for a visit after the parade. The activities staff is already in the process of booking the animal for a return visit.

Joswick said she was flattered by the number of volunteers who helped organize the parade.

“I could not do it by myself,” she said. “The volunteers are what make this event a great event. Thanks to them. They come and bring their children. And all the support (they show) for the vets, I truly appreciate it. They love it.”

Memorial Day, Mullane said, is important to the veterans because it gives them a chance to honor and remember their fallen brothers and sisters.

“They celebrate their lives and remember their losses,” she said. “It’s an important day for them.”