Memorial Day 500 held in Mercer

Mercer parade


MERCER, Pa. (WYTV) –  One of the largest events honoring Memorial Day each year is in Mercer County.

This year was no different as hundreds gathered to honor those who helped write American history. The event is called Mercer Memorial Day 500 for the field of 500 flags that line the streets around the Mercer County Courthouse, honoring a different group of veterans each year.

Five servicemen also were honored for their dedication, including Lance Corporal Phillip Schneider, a former Marine who fought in Vietnam. He received a special citation from the office of U.S. Rep. Michelle Brooks.

“I cannot express enough how thankful I am to have dedicated individuals such as you who commit themselves to protecting the liberties of our country. Again, please accept my heartfelt appreciation of all that you have done,” said a spokeswoman from Brooks’ office.

Also receiving special honors were 1st Sgt. James Masotto, a U.S. Air Force veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan; Corporal John Takoch Sr., a World War II army Army veteran; Private 1st Class Robert Bruce, deceased, who was a POW during World War II; and U.S. Merchant Marine Robert John Kelly “Jack” Craig, who was lost at sea during World War II.

Also at Monday’s ceremony was a passing of the baton. Several new recruits raised their right hands to take the oath of enlistment.

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