Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Parade May 27, 2019

Members of the Southern Ohio Amateur Radio Association (SOARA) and the Lawrence County, Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) participated again this year providing communications for the Ironton-Lawrence County, Ohio Memorial Day Parade.

There were 12 separate divisions with over 1,000 participants making up the parade that traveled two miles in downtown Ironton where there were approximately 22,000 people waiting to see the parade. At 10 AM two F-16 fighter jets from the 112th Fighter Squadron 180th Flight Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard based in Toledo, Ohio did a very impressive low altitude flyover. This was the start for the three hour parade. However, preparation for the parade started eleven months before the event.

This year, James Rowe, N8TVO an ARES / SOARA member and liaison for communications was also the Parade Commander. This year’s theme was       “Tribute to Patriotism”.  James said, “ I want to thank everyone who came out to help with the parade. It is the volunteers who make a difference and have make the parade possible over the last 151 years. He went on to say, that it is the longest continuing running Memorial Day Parade in the country.”

Eddie Jenkins, N8URU ARES, EC said,    “This annual event provides a wonderful opportunity for ARES training. We provide point to point communications with a fully staffed net control at the Lawrence County EMA / 911 center. Therefore, immediate emergency communications can be provided in the event of any emergency. Additionally, it also provides for us to work directly with government officials and emergency agencies.”

Amateur radio operators walk with each division providing communication support to the division commander. Additionally, they were briefed on looking for any suspicious activity or suspicious items that may be of concern and report to net control.

We were blessed with outstanding weather with bright sunny skies for the parade. Additionally, and most importantly, the parade completed without one injury or any related mishap.

Everyone had fun and were provided a pizza lunch after the parade.

The following are the Amateur Radio Participants:

Keith Brooks, N8DKB

Rhonda Vansickle, KE8BCO
Jerry Huffman, N8YN
Fred Jones, WA4SWF
James Rowe, N8TVO
Faye Rowe, Logistics
Jerry Lockhart, W8HIC
Gary Caldwell, WX8G
A. J. Pierson, N8LRO
Mike Love, WB8YKS
James Reneau, N4REN
Alex Lindamood , KE8MBD
Eddie Jenkins, N8URU
Annabelle Jenkins, KB8TGI
Don Kemper, KN4KSS
Tim Nicely, AC8VQ
Dave Bruce, KD8NYN
Harry Rice, KC8WDR
Randy Franz, KD8VRU


The day was ended with everyone saying, see you next year and that speaks volumes!

Mike Love, WB8YKS
Ohio Section PIO

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