South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Ed Blank 

Memorial Day services canceled in South Side/Hilltop


Last updated 5/20/2020 at 9:44pm

The Vietnam Veterans Color Guard at last year's Memorial Day Services at the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial at the corner of 18th and E. Carson streets. This year's South Side/Hilltop Memorial Day Services have been canceled due to the coronavirus.

Regretfully. the folks who stage the annual 16-stop Memorial Day pilgrimage from the Monongahela River to St. Adalbert and South Side Cemeteries every year must cancel the May 25 event.

Co-chairs Curtis Schmitt and Philip Ortego and their committee made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 pilgrimage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the uncertainty of state-wide self-isolation ending and a lack of sufficient time to resume extensive planning.

Ordinarily the event begins with an 8 a.m. prayer, the placing of a memorial wreath in the Mon river, a rifle salute, a bagpipe rendition of "Taps" and a musical tribute by bugler Adam Warble and bagpiper Andrew Warble.

Subsequent stops include VFW Post 6675, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Armstrong Park Memorial, with a ceremony at every site.

The concluding South Side Cemetery program typically includes the National Anthem, offerings by the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer choir, an invocation, a roll call of recently departed comrades, the placing of wreaths, a rifle salute to the deceased, a valedictory and the playing of "Taps."

The pilgrimage is supported by members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6675, American Legion Carrick-Brentwood Post 725, St. Adalbert Post 1522, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 76, Vietnam Veterans Inc, Vietnam Veterans of America, Italian American War Veterans and Military Officers Association of America.


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