HOPEWELL BOROUGH: Fire department wants parade floats , marchers


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The Hopewell Fire Department invites organizations to participate in the Hopewell Borough Memorial Day Parade, which will take place on Sunday, May 29. Line-up is at 12:30 p.m., with step-off at 1 p.m. To obtain a registration form or for more information, email
Hopewell’s Memorial Day Parade is one of the oldest Memorial Day parades in the state.
In the United States, the Memorial Day celebration was inaugurated in 1866 by veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).
In 1898, Gen. John A. Logan, commander in chief of the then organized GAR posts, directed that on May 30 of each year . . . “flowers and flags be placed on all veterans’ graves with proper ceremonies to strengthen the ties that bind the fellowship of all soldiers and sailors who fought to preserve the Union and to perpetuate the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for this cause and those who survived.”
Thus, Decoration Day or Memorial Day was born.
From 1887 to 1920 Hopewell had its own GAR Post 108, named in honor of James M. Weart. In 1920 the sons of GAR veterans assumed operation of the post and continued to 1930 when the group disbanded.
In 1931 there was no local organization of these veterans and no program was observed.
In 1932, a volunteer veterans and citizens group was formed. It was known as the Memorial Day Committee and operated until 1935 when Hopewell Borough Council formally recognized the group and it was chartered as the Hopewell Memorial Day Association. It was authorized to arrange whatever ceremonies were needed on May 30 to continue the established traditions. The group functioned for 22 years, until 1952, when Hopewell Valley American Legion Post 339 assumed management of the association.
For 55 years — from 1952-2007 — Post 339 sponsored, planned and executed the annual Memorial Day parade in Hopewell.
In 2008, a new tradition began and has and continued. Hopewell Fire Department’s volunteers took over the organization of the annual Memorial Day event. 

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