May 27, 2011 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
Memorial Day started as a result of the Civil War.
One hundred and fifty years after our nation’s bloodiest battle first began, it is befitting then that we honor those who served during this internal struggle, specifically the men of Battery B of the 1st N.Y. Artillery, many of whom hailed from Baldwinsville. This year’s Memorial Day Parade will do just that.
“This is our celebration of the 150th [anniversary],” said Sarah Baker, one of the organizers of the annual Baldwinsville Memorial Day commemoration.
Beginning after the 5:45 p.m. placement of the memorial wreath and raising of the colors at the village’s Veteran’s Monument, the parade will feature Sue McManus as the President of the Day and Richard Fastenau as the Grand Marshall. Fastenau is a veteran of the Korean War, which will also be commemorated.
“The Korean War is often referred to as the ‘forgotten’ war, and we in Baldwinsville want to make sure that those brave veterans are never forgotten, so we honor them this year,” Baker said.
Baldwinsville’s rich history
A unique feature of Baldwinsville’s Memorial Day celebration is the service held after the conclusion of the parade. It begins at St. Mary’s Cemetery (6:45 p.m.) with a brief service, then moves to Riverview Cemetery (7 p.m.) where numerous observances take place.
As the parade committee honors Korean War veterans and observes the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Baker said it was important for the community to attend these traditional ceremonies.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for parents to share the rich history of Baldwinsville,” she said. “The Baldwinsville Community Band will feature music from the Civil War era and the 122nd Regiment Infantry re-enactors will stand guard at Baldwinsville Civil War Monument.”
Other highlights include: recitations by Baker High School students of the Gettysburg Address, In Flanders Fields and Logan’s Orders; raising of the colors; placement of the wreaths; salute over the graves; taps; and performances of “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.”
Fastenau was a member of the 40th Infantry Division, which served on the front lines during the Korean conflict in the Kumwha-Kumsong area. His deployment followed 16 weeks of basic infantry training at Camp Breckenridge, KY, home of the 101st Airborne Division. He first went to Japan for processing before leaving for Korea.
After five months on the front lines, Fastenau was transferred to the 8th Headquarters in Seoul, September 1952, where he served with the 58 Military Police and Security Guard. He remained there until he was shipped home following the signing of the truce.
Following his discharge, Fastenau remained active in the military veteran community. He is a life member of both the Korean War Veterans, Chapter 105, Syracuse, and the VFW Post 155, Albert Glenn Richardson, Baldwinsville.
President of the Day
McManus, who has resided in Baldwinsville most of her adult life, became a charter member of McHarrie’s Legacy, Inc. with her husband, Ed, shortly after moving here. When that organization assumed responsibility for the Shacksboro Schoolhouse, McManus implemented a year round local history museum function in the former country school building. This year marks her 25th anniversary as museum director.
With Baldwinsville as her subject, McManus has authored numerous articles and pamphlets. Her writings include two books, “The Houses on the Hill” and “Greater Baldwinsville.”
“We thought Sue was a perfect fit for this year,” Baker said, noting McManus’ commitment to history as a local historian and published writer.
Taken from the “History of Baldwinsville,” compiled by Edith Hall:
“Rufus D. Pettit, who had served in the artillery during the Mexican War, early organized a unit of field artillery, which served throughout the war and achieved much fame as ‘Battery B’ of the 1st N.Y. Artillery, also widely known as ‘Pettit’s Battery.’ This company was composed almost exclusively of Baldwinsville men. Captain Pettit gave his men the benefit of his earlier experience, and drilled them so thoroughly that they were first of the N.Y. Volunteers to receive horses for their guns. Their history is one of distinction, perhaps reaching its culmination when, at Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, they helped to turn back the extreme high tide of the Confederacy. This Battery was mustered into service on Aug. 31, 1861, and served to the close of the war, being often cited for coolness and courage in action. It is through the gallantry of this Battery that Baldwinsville enjoys the distinction of being the only village in the state of New York to have its name appear on a monument at the Gettysburg battle-field (pictured).”