The parade will start at 10 a.m. today on Market Street in Boardman.
BOARDMAN -- A print of a patriotic painting titled "Freedom Still Stands" will be presented today to the two New York City firefighters serving as the grand marshals of "The Valley's Tribute to American Heroes: A Red, White, and Blue Parade."
Paul S. Iannizzotto and Robert Salvesen, firefighters who helped with the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center towers Sept. 11, will receive the painting from Boardman Fire Chief Jim Dorman after today's parade. The parade, which is presented by The Vindicator and WFMJ-TV 21, will start at 10 a.m. on Market Street at Nisonger Drive in Boardman and end at the Boardman Township Administration Building.
Helen Paes, Vindicator director of community affairs, said she feels the print is both a thank-you gift for the firefighters and a symbol of American patriotism.
"I think it really shows the pride and patriotism of what the firefighters do, and what they continue to do," Paes said.
The print was created by Ray Simon, a Youngstown artist, who also has produced well-known paintings of World War II scenes and the Youngstown State University football team. On his Web site, Simon states that "'Freedom Still Stands' [is] dedicated to the perished souls of the NYFD and NYPD in their heroic efforts to save lives at the World Trade Center."
Paes said Cindy Miller, director of public relations for The DeBartolo Corp., suggested giving the print to the firefighters. She said the presenters and the sponsors wanted to present "something fitting" to the firefighters after the parade.
"It would be a representation of how the people in the Valley feel about the New York City firefighters," Paes said.
Paes added that the sponsors and presenters are "hoping for a very big crowd" at today's parade.
"We've heard from people that are very enthusiastic to be there and about this historic event," Paes said.
More than 130 groups representing local veterans, safety forces and community organizations will be represented in the parade. Sponsors of the parade include K-105, Y-103, Hot 101 and The DeBartolo Corp. -- Denise and John York.