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Parade

NEWS
November 25, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sparkling blue flags waved and 600 feet stepped in time as the West Chester University marching band sent a holiday tune into the darkening November sky. With drums and flutes, trumpets and clarinets, the students last week turned a campus blacktop into the winter wonderland they hope to create near New York City's Herald Square on Thursday. That's when the college musicians will have 75 seconds to dazzle tens of millions of viewers with "Winter Wonderland. " The band is one of 10 high school and college bands nationwide selected to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which typically generates huge television ratings and draws thousands to New York's streets.
NEWS
November 23, 2015 | BY DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer geringd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5961
CASS GILBERT, 81, a/k/a Mrs. Claus, will walk in her 21st Mayfair Holmesburg Thanksgiving Parade on Sunday, posing for photos with hundreds of children along Frankford Avenue from Rhawn to Knorr streets. Heeding their shouts of "Mrs. Claus! Mrs. Claus!" throughout the noon to 3 p.m. parade, she'll ask if they've been good. If they answer "yes," she'll tell them that Mr. Claus, riding in the sleigh float alongside her, will fulfill their Christmas wishes. Gilbert, whose family-owned Shop N Bag on Sackett Street near Levick Street has sponsored the Santa's sleigh float since the supermarket opened in 1993, spent her first two Thanksgiving parades in '94 and '95 as a turkey.
NEWS
November 23, 2015 | By Jack Tomczuk, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pat Ercole remembers when her great-uncle Joe would visit the family home in Broomall, and give her five brothers haircuts. And when Joe O'Flynn was done with the boys, he would cut the girls' hair. Pixie bowl cuts that always left her and her three sisters in tears, Ercole said. Nevertheless, Uncle Joe, who himself sported a considerable puff of white hair, was "the most jovial little leprechaun," she said. Uncle Joe, who never married, would invite his nieces and nephews to his house on 20th and Cherry Streets every Thanksgiving to watch the parade, said Ercole, a 58-year-old physical therapist from Media.
NEWS
November 12, 2015 | By Dani Blum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The USS Lansdale sank in minutes. Six minutes, Robert Dott recalls. Maybe four. When the German torpedo slammed into the destroyer's side on an April night in 1944, the Philadelphia native did not have time to look at the clock. The blast knocked him unconscious for a few seconds. When he picked himself up, Dott saw the ship's doctor trying to treat one of his shipmates. The man was burned so severely that Dott did not recognize him. Water streamed into the hatch. Dott knew only one person could fit through the door at a time.
NEWS
November 10, 2015 | BY JOE BRANDT, Daily News Staff Writer brandtj@phillynews.com, 215-854-4890
ROBERT SHEDRICK returned from Vietnam in 1972 shaken and confused. He doesn't like talking about a tour there with the Marines when he lost several of his comrades, or about how he became homeless in 1995, or how he later lost his legs years after drinking water polluted with dry-cleaning fluid and benzene at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. "It was hell in Vietnam," Shedrick, 68, said yesterday across from Independence Hall, where he watched participants arrive at the end of Philly's first Veterans Day parade.
NEWS
November 10, 2015 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Serafin Natal had trouble walking in Philadelphia's first Veterans Day Parade on Sunday. But he would not stop. The 65-year-old Navy man had beaten renal cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Doctors took a kidney out of him 10 years ago - only for diabetes to come along, knocking some of the feeling out of his feet. But the retired Juniata Park factory worker was on a mission Sunday. His colonial city was making history, if more than two centuries late.
NEWS
October 26, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
After decades of parades for all reasons, Philadelphia will hold its first citywide veterans parade on Nov. 8. "In some ways, it's strange that Philly didn't have one, but now we do," said Scott Brown, director of the city's Veterans Advisory Commission. With the backing of U.S. Rep. Robert Brady (D., Pa.) and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Brown and a committee of about 50 organizations planned the inaugural parade. It will be held Nov. 8, in advance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11. "We didn't want to interfere with Veterans Day celebrations either," Brown said.
NEWS
October 23, 2015
SHORTLY AFTER his appointment last year as director of the Veterans Advisory Commission, Scott C. Brown noticed something that was missing. Philadelphia had no veterans parade. As a Navy veteran, Brown found that puzzling - and disheartening. He did some research and found that despite the lip service we always pay vets, "there never was an official veterans parade in Philadelphia" - ever. In his bones and in his job, Brown knew that was just wrong and nominated himself to raise the flag.
NEWS
September 24, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
POPE FRANCIS made his first visit to the U.S. yesterday on a gray, blustery day at a military base outside Washington, D.C. - the start of his six-day, three-city tour that will wind up in Philadelphia this weekend. He arrived from Cuba, where he met with Fidel Castro, toured the country and celebrated Mass on Revolution Plaza. Ahead of him are an address to a joint session of Congress tomorrow, a speech to the United Nations in New York on Friday, and being feted by celebrities as well as visiting with immigrants, prisoners and the homeless.
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