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COLUMN: 1957 Memorial Day Remembrance

— The speaker of the day was retired city of Syracuse court of special sessions Judge William H. Bamerick – my grandfather. I had stumbled on this fact while recently researching our family surname history on the Internet.

Since 1992, my wife and I raised our family in the village and never did I know, nor did my family, that my grandfather was an honorary speaker for the 1957 Memorial Day ceremony. My father had told me grandpa made trips to the village to visit his friend Earl Wood, owner of the corner pharmacy and fish along the Seneca River. In checking the Messenger archives, I could only find where it was reported he spoke "on the significance of the memorial."

What were his words and how did he phrase sentences to describe the memorial's significance? Being a lawyer, he was accustomed to writing briefs and other communicative documents. As a frequent requested, after-dinner speaker, I was told he could be verbose, yet with a witty, dry humor. I could envision his speech might repeat the 1957 Memorial monument's engraving: "Dedicated to the men and women of this community who faithfully served in the armed forces of our country." The engraving continued: "in memoriam, we were highly resolved that these honored dead shall not have died in vain."

In general, the memorial's significance to me is a reminder of the consequences the men and women paid with their lives for the freedom and liberty of our country. My grandfather, in honor roll to the names listed on the Memorial, may have repeated some of the names from the complete list of names earlier read at the pre-parade ceremony by R. Sanford Weeks. Perhaps some of the names were made known to him through one or more of his four sons who honorably served in the armed services - William, Jr. (Signal Corps), Dudley (Patton's 3rd US Army), Robert (US Marines) and Edward (Army Air Force).

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