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Memorial Day Race Held in Pottsville

POTTSVILLE, Pa. -- People in Pottsville look forward to the city's Memorial Day parade every year but not just for the bands and floats, it gives the city a chance to honor the true meaning of the holiday.

"We always want to come out and support the town and all the people that march and of course, our soldiers," said Linda Humphrey of Pottsville.

The Humphrey family runs a funeral home along the parade route. They have a lot of veterans in their family.

"My father is and his mother was. His father was and my mother's father was. It's kind of a big day for us," said Jim Humphrey.

Pottsville's parade coordinator says the city started hosting the parade in the 1930s.

"Anything we can pay a tribute to our deceased veterans, it's an important day," said Leo Haley, parade chairman and Navy veteran.

Before the parade started, many of the participants ran along the parade route for the city's Memorial Day Mile.

The race used to be held every year on Memorial Day until it fizzled out.

City leaders brought the race back to help kick off Pottsville's summer-long fitness challenge.

"We love to encourage that sense of community, that positive sense of community that we know that our community has and also to encourage fitness," said Tom Palamar, Pottsville city administrator.

The veterans who participated in the parade didn't mind the race starting off the day's activities.

"I know from whence I speak because I just lost 40 pounds and I am very proud of that. But really, it's the way to kick it off," said Haley.

Just as long as the day still honored those who lost their lives protecting our freedom.

"It's not the beginning of picnic season or anything of the sort. It's all about those who gave their lives for their country," said Haley.

After the parade, everyone headed to Garfield Square for a Memorial Day ceremony.