May 30, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The rain came for a brief downpour and the thunder rolled slightly over the village as the 2012 Skaneateles Memorial Day parade took place Monday, May 28.
The parade, which began and ended in sunshine, followed the same route as years past: starting at the American Legion post on Jordan Road, going to St. Mary’s Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony, then down Jordan and up East Genesee Street to Lakeview Cemetery for another wreath laying. The final leg went down East Genesee Street to the Clift Park veterans’ memorial for a third wreath laying and a final speech.
Participating in this year’s parade were veterans from all service branches who served in wars and conflicts from World War II through Iraq; members of the Sons of the American legion, boy scouts and girl scouts; the Skaneateles Fire Department, SAVES, members of the village board of trustees and the town board, and the new school drumline and dance squad.
Community members of all ages lined both sides of the entire parade route and waved, smiled, cheered, clapped and saluted as marchers passed them by.
Lt. Col. Brad McLennan, second vice commander of the Skaneateles American Legion and organizer of the Memorial Day exercises, said, “We always try to keep our parade in line with honoring and remembering the veterans who have given their lives in defending our country. This is not about the parade, it is what the parade is about.”
Father Darr Schoenhofen, of St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church on Austin Street, gave the prayer at St. Mary’s Cemetery and Joellyn Tuttle, pastor of the United Methodist Church on Jordan Street, gave the prayer at Lakeview Cemetery.
Skaneateles American Legion Commander Kurt Reilly and Skaneateles Fire Chief Eric Sell presented the wreaths at both cemeteries and the veterans’ memorial at Clift Park.
Eighth graders Aubrey Lynn and Jackie Aberi sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” while tenth graders Calvin Bohrer and Jeffrey Kringer played taps at all three stops.
While the wreaths were laid and the prayer given at St. Mary’s Cemetery, thunder rumbled in the distance and dark clouds began to become visible. As the parade marched down Jordan Street, rain started to sprinkle and shortly turned into a strong downpour. By the time all the parade members reached Lakeview cemetery on East Genesee Street, however, the rain had ceased and the sun came out.
At Clift Park, Reilly told everyone about the new plaque for Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans and active duty members that the memorial committee is currently planning, and asked for the community’s assistance in getting every local name for the memorial. McLennan then introduced the day’s main speaker, Col. Earl A. Evans, mission support group commander for the 174th Fighter Wing at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, who spoke about the history of the Memorial Day holiday and the need to honor and take pride in the veterans and service members “who fought and died to keep America free.”
Village Trustee Sue Jones, who rode with the rest of the village board in a car in the parade, said the Memorial Day parade is “one of the great community events in our town. I’m so proud to honor the veterans, to see them in uniform and know what they did is pretty special.”
Jack Haggerty, an Air Force major, summed up the morning well when he said, “It’s like Norman Rockwell; this is what Skaneateles is all about.”
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.