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Spafford: The ultimate sacrifices remembered on Memorial Day

Despite a 40-minute late start, the Spafford Memorial Day parade and service went as planned Sunday May 30.

Around 1:40 p.m., the bagpipes could be heard at the four corners as the parade made its way north from the Borodino Fire Department. Veterans, auxiliary, fire and emergency services members were warmly welcomed by the small community gathered at Veterans' Memorial Park.

Town Supervisor Webb Stevens welcomed the crowd and thanked the residents for joining together on such an important day.

"Memorial Day is one of our nations most important holidays," he said. "To the veterans here, I thank you for your service."

Master of ceremonies United States Air Force Sgt. Michael Hoover, who served from 1990 to 1994, said he and his family came to the area following his service and are proud of what the community has done for its veterans.

One such veteran, whose roots are planted deep in Central New York, is Lt. Col. William Walsh, retired.

As a pilot, Walsh, better known as Onondaga County Court's judge, opened his remarks joking about knowing "you're getting old when every fighter you've ever flown is now in the Smithsonian."

All joking aside, Walsh also spoke about sacrifice and the pride he feels on Memorial Day.

"This country and the freedom we enjoy didn't come without sacrifice," he said. "I'm never prouder to have served in the military than I am on Memorial Day."

The sacrifices made by the nation's military men and women were not made for any other reason than "they loved it [the United States] that much," Walsh said.

He served with the Air National Guard and retired from the military in 1990.

Before ending the service, United States Navy World War II veteran John Call presented the memorial wreath and laid it at the base of the monument at Veterans' Memorial Park.

The service ended with "Amazing Grace" played on the bagpipes and all were invited to attend an informal reception at Borodino Hall.

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