Parade, Balloons Honor the Fallen

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TUNKHANNOCK -- Memorial Day means different things to different people. But to those who have lost family or friends to war, it means so much more.

In Wyoming County, a parade and balloon release honored those sacrifices made by so many men and women in uniform.

Marching right down the main street in Tunkhannock, the Memorial Day parade is a source of pride for the people who call the community home. Veterans groups were applauded for all they have done and continue to do and the youngest generation played patriotic music for everyone along the way. Steve Sherwood served a dozen years in the Army and was there with his family.

"I'm a veteran and I'm here in support of other veterans, here to support a small town parade that's turned into a big town," he said.

The parade had it all, big dogs and small, and then, a group carrying balloons, red, white and blue.

Three hundred balloons in all, each one representing someone from Pennsylvania killed while serving their country in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"It's important, these people put their lives on the line for us," said Henrietta Raczkowski of Delaware.

The Raczkowski family had never been to Tunkhannock before, but made the trip from Delaware to be a part of the service to honor the fallen. One of them, a hometown hero, Staff Sergeant Steven Tudor, killed in 2007 while serving in Iraq.

Someone the Raczkowskis never knew.

"Doesn't matter, he gave the ultimate, he gave his life for us, defending our country, giving us our freedoms," she added.

"This means so much to myself and my family and other members of the fallen," added Kendra Lynn.

Lynn is Staff Sergeant Tudor's sister and organized the sendoff at the Little League fields in Tunkhannock. The Star Spangled Banner, then the balloons were let go, drifting off as a symbol of the men and women this country has lost in its service but has not forgotten.

"Every single one's important, every single one has died for us and given us the right to be free and be here today and enjoy this beautiful day," said Lynn.


  • Jason

    Sooo, who’s going to go looking for all those balloons when they fall back to earth and dispose of them properly? I all for celebrating and honoring our troops but releasing 300 balloons is irresponsible and not healthy for the planet. It’s no different than littering.

    • Angelina Jolly

      i completely agree – every balloon is choking the life out of our planet – they should plant trees instead or something meaningful – make a positive memory instead of killing wildlife.

  • Baghdad Invest

    Nice to see things like this happen for the troops. More needs to be done to help those who are suffering the consequences of going to war or better yet, partake in NO wars :-)

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