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On a bright sunny morning on Memorial Day, the Malvern community came out and supported veterans all around town.
The annual Memorial Day parade began at Damascus Friends Church and marched to the Malvern Historical Society Veterans Memorial for a brief ceremony, then to St. Francis Xavier Church cemetery for a brief ceremony, and then to Bethlehem cemetery for additional ceremonies.
At the memorial wall Malvern First Christian Church Minister Kevin Crater said a prayer, then the honor guard had a three-volley salute. "Taps" was then performed honoring veterans who were lost.
After the short ceremony led by Master of Ceremonies Paul Chudzinski of the Malvern Legion Post 375, the parade continued to St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, where a service was performed by Father Victor Cinson.
The parade then made its final stop at Bethlehem Cemetery, where there was a three-volley salute.
Chaplain Charles Pearson was the speaker at Bethlehem Cemetery.
Pearson is one of a small group of Carroll County veterans who volunteer to provide military funeral services for recently deceased Carroll County veterans, sometimes traveling out of Carroll County, including to Rittman's National Cemetery. Chuck plays TAPS at these services, a piece he has performed at hundreds of veterans' funerals.
He is a graduate of Malvern High School and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1950. He rose through the enlisted ranks and was promoted to be an officer, proceeding from a private to Captain. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1971 and decided to get a college degree, graduating from Malone College in 1974. He taught one year at Malone, and seven years at Sandy Valley High School.
He was married to his high school sweetheart, Vernice Wilken Pearson, in 1951. They have three children, two boys and a girl, nine grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren with another on the way.