Memorial Day service to follow 32nd annual parade in Exeter

Dale Derr, Berks County veterans affairs director, to deliver keynote address

EXETER TWP., Pa. - American Legion Post 934 will pay tribute to the nation's fallen heroes with its 32nd annual Memorial Day parade and service.

The parade will step off from Exeter High School at 9 a.m. on Monday and end at Forest Hills Memorial Park, where a memorial service will follow at 10:30.

Dale Derr, director of the Berks County office for Veterans Affairs, will deliver the keynote address. Derr served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and the U.S. Air Force.

Leading the parade will be the Exeter High School marching band, followed by first responders, service groups, and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.

Also featured in the parade are three poppy princesses, who continue the service of ancestors who were officers of Post 934.

"The parade is a celebration of appreciation for the people who serve our community and country every day, especially those serving in the Persian Gulf," said Jesse Ritz, parade chairman. "The service is the solemn part, in remembrance of all the servicemen and women who have lost their lives in military service."

The service will begin with the invocation by Post 934 Chaplain Paul Blankenbiller. Master of ceremonies Larry Roth will then pay tribute to Legionnaires who died in the past year, as well as Chief Warrant Ofc. Jarett Yoder, an Oley Township native who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in April. His final resting place is at Forest Hills.

Roth will then introduce the poppy princesses: Abigail Rowley, Madison Roth and Madison Hahn and Derr, the keynote speaker.

The Exeter High School Marching Band and soloist James Damore, an Exeter sophomore, will perform "America the Beautiful," and the Exeter High School Key Club president will recite "In Flanders Fields."

Rev. Wendy Orzolek, of NorthStar United Methodist Church, will deliver the benediction.

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