Memorial Day 2013 was a little chillier than usual but none the less a beautiful day. My hometown of Sinclairville, NY had it's annual parade and memorial service like it has for, well, as far as I'm concerned, forever.
The parade isn't really all that long, but that's okay. Everyone enjoys it, especially the kids. We all follow it up to Evergreen Cemetery where it ends and then go into the cemetery for the memorial service. It's really peaceful when you get back in the cemetery. There are trees everywhere (hence the name) and in most spots you can't even see the sky. We always gather at the same spot near the soldier monument.
The soldier monument actually has quite an interesting story that goes with it. It was erected in 1891 "in memory of the defenders of their country." It was cast in bronze and placed on a pedestal that is about eight feet tall. One July day in 1966 someone discovered the statue was gone. Sometime in the night someone had managed to get the statue down off the pedestal and stole it. The statue was never seen again and those who took it were never caught.
A few years ago some folks decided the statue should be replaced and set about to do just that. The cost was significant but after years of fundraising their goal was realized and in 2012 the soldier statue was back on his pedestal, hopefully for a very long time this time.
The main speaker for the memorial service was USMC Major David Grabow, a local product who has served in the Middle East. He spoke of his time there and about those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Major Grabow is an excellent speaker and he had a powerful and moving message. His father was there also and you could see the pride he felt in his son.
Some from my family also participated in the service. My youngest daughter Emily played taps and my wife JoAnn read the Gettysburg Address. (She's the village of Sinclairville and Town of Charlotte historian and has done the address for the past couple of years.)
I've always liked Memorial Day. Sure it's a day off of school or work and the unofficial start of summer, but it's really so much more than that. It's a time to stop and reflect on those who have given so much for this country and us. Never let us forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live free in this great country.
Here are some shots from the day.
(camera: Olympus E-PL1, lenses: Olympus 14-42mm 3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm 4.0-5.6)