Past and present -- our country's service men and women will be honored Friday during a parade held in the heart of Baldwinsville.
One of few communities that celebrate the traditional Memorial Day (May 30), Baldwinsville will also hold a riverside service honoring veterans, a tradition the community has celebrated for 76 years.
"The ceremony connects our past with the current conflict," said Sarah Baker, a Memorial Day Committee member. "This is really where we show our respect and honor for all veterans."
The ceremony emphasizes the patriotism and sacrifice of our countrymen giving participants an understanding of what America means.
Carnations are distributed to parade goers as they enter Riverview Cemetery, which are later placed on the Memorial Day Monument. Three flowered wreaths are also placed on monuments to honor those who have served our country during the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
Baker High School students will recite three traditional readings during the ceremony -- junior Nolan Miles will read the "Gettysburg Address," Senior Kaleigh Morrison will recite "In Flanders Fields" and junior Taylor Dietrich will recite "Logan's Orders," which proclaims May 30 as the traditional Memorial Day.
Throughout the ceremony, the Community Band plays patriotic music appropriate to all branches of armed services. The ceremony closes with a 21-gun salute over the graves, two pipers performing Amazing Grace followed by the buglers playing taps.
"The setting is just serene along the Seneca River, capturing the spirit of what Memorial Day is all about. It's important for our youth and families," Baker said. "This is for everybody in the Greater Baldwinsville area."
Because the commemoration falls on a Friday this year, it was important for the committee to work hand in hand with Mike Chemotti, the promoter of Friday's Paper Mill Island event A Salute to Our Service Men and Women.