Lawrence Township’s annual Memorial Day parade is set to kick off at 10 a.m. May 26, honoring the memories of American military servicemen and servicewomen who gave their lives in battle.
Commander Andrew Tunnard, who served in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Navy Reserves from 1989 to 2012, has been tapped to be the grand marshal for the parade. Tunnard is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Restore Hope and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Before the parade, Lawrence Township veterans have been invited to attend a meet-and-greet at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot at Lawrence High School, said Nancy Bergen, the superintendent of recreation.
“We would like them to take part in the parade. When you listen to the veterans, you realize what Memorial Day is all about, the pride and the sacrifices they made for everyone else,” Bergen said.
The parade will step off from the parking lot at the high school. The parade route takes the marchers onto Princeton Pike and then Darrah Lane, Birchwood Knoll and Berwyn Place, where it ends in Veterans Park.
At the park, the Memorial Day essay winners will be announced and a Memorial Day service will be held, featuring a keynote speech by Tunnard, a wreath laying at the memorial and music by the Lawrence Community Band.
Among the groups taking part in the parade will be the color guards from the Lawrence Township Police Department and branches of the U.S. military.
The Central Jersey Military Motor Pool will bring historic military vehicles and members of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps will march.
The Lawrence High School Red Scare marching band will take part, along with the marching band from Princeton University. The Washington Memorial Pipe Band will participate, too.
Marchers include the Lawrence High School football team, the Lawrence Little League, the Lawrence Lacrosse Club and the Lawrence Junior Cardinal Football and Cheerleaders.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will march, plus the Lawrence Senior Center and the Slackwood Elementary School and St. Ann’s School PTO.
The annual Memorial Day parade is co-sponsored by Lawrence Township, American Legion Post 414, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3022, and the 112th Field Artillery Association.