YARDLEY >> A sense of normalcy returned to Yardley in a big way on Monday as the community paused to reflect and to celebrate Memorial Day.
Thousands of people turned out for the Yardley-Makefield Memorial Day Parade jamming Main Street from Afton to College and beyond in a sight not seen here since 2019.
In some places along the parade route, people stood three to four deep as young and old came out in a big way to celebrate Memorial Day and to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
It seemed fitting that the biggest applause came at the very beginning of the parade where about 30 veterans, some dressed in uniform, marched behind the colors as they were carried with pride down the street.
Among them were the commanders of VFW Post 6393 and American Legion Post 317, the two veterans organizations that organized the annual parade.
Applause again filled the street for Brad Varney’s antique truck decked out in red, white and blue, and the auxiliaries of American Legion Post 317 and VFW Post 6393 and their respective poppy queens.
Alpha Bravo Canine put paws to the pavement as its canines paraded down Main Street. The Philadelphia and Bucks County-based nonprofit raises and trains dogs to be companions for veterans suffering from PSD.
A Revolutionary War Honor Guard stopped occasionally along the route to fire its muskets as puffs of white smoke wafted into the air and surprised youngsters grabbed their ears startled by the unexpected noise.
A fife and drum corps from Washington Crossing brought more Revolutionary sounds to the parade in a musical celebration of 1776 and the fledgling nation’s victory over England in the War for Independence.
Cheers erupted as more patriotic tunes filled the air as the Pennsbury High School Marching Band brought its long orange line to the parade.
Elected officials from Yardley Borough, Lower Makefield and the Pennsbury School District joined the march, including State Rep. Perry Warren, Bucks County Prothonotary Judi Reiss, Yardley Borough Mayor Chris Harding, Lower Makefield Supervisors John Lewis and Dan Grenier, Yardley Borough Council President David Bria among others.
The parade also included the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, antique cars, a salute to our veterans by Knecht’s Danceworks, the Yardley Ice House, the Civil Air Patrol Twin Pine Composite Unit, the Pennsbury High School Junior ROTC, Girl Scout Troops and the BSA.
And bringing the parade to a grand conclusion were the community’s first responders.
The sharply-dressed members of the Yardley-Makefield Fire Company, including its Chief, Glenn Chamberlain, led the way followed by its antique vehicles, including its restored chief's car and Studebaker fire engine, and its impressive line up of modern firefighting equipment.
Also joining the parade were fire trucks from Falls Township, Tullytown Borough, Morrisville Borough and Springfield.
The parade capped off a morning of special salutes and ceremonies that began just after dawn.
An honor guard, made up of members of the VFW and American Legion, visited three local cemeteries - St. Ignatius, St. Andrew’s and Slate Hill - along with Yardley Borough Hall and Veterans Square Monument in Lower Makefield where they fired rifle salutes and played TAPS in honor of the area’s deceased veterans.
At 9 a.m., the veterans paused again for a ceremony at the Yardley-Makefield War Memorial at the foot of East Afton Avenue.