Memorial Day services canceled in South Side/Hilltop
May 19, 2020
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.