The 2011 Parsippany-Troy Hills Memorial Day brought out young and old under the blistering sun for music, sun, memories... and lots of fire trucks. Organized by the township's Recreation Department, the event had residents lined along North Beverwyck Road. Many dashed into nearby stores to pick up bottled water and folding chairs in hopes of staying hydrated, rested and cool even as the mercury rose toward the 90-degree mark.
In the end, though, the heat did not matter. The parade participants waved happily to the enthusiastic crowds who offered them warm rounds of applause. Kids scrambled into the street to collect pieces of candy tossed by civic officials or danced to music played by bands representing the local high schools.
Beyond the fun, no one seemed to forget the real reason for the pomp and circumstance.
"It's a special day to give thanks for those veterans who gave their lives," said Town Council member Brian Stanton, who marched with his young daughter.
Perhaps the most stirring moment of the parade came when the First Panamanian Drum and Bugle Corps stopped in front of the reviewing stand and performed a unique but reverent rendition of the national anthem and followed it with the solemn "Taps." Hands instinctively covered hearts. The people on the stage, led by Town Council Vice President and Vietnam veteran Michael dePierro, stood and saluted until the last note faded into the steamy air. Several people wiped away tears. It was a moment that showcased Parsippany at its finest, displaying patriotism, service, diversity and pride.
In case you missed today's event, Patch hopes these photos give you a peek at the pageantry of the Parsippany parade.