PLATTSBURGH — While Memorial Day is regarded by many as the unofficial beginning of summer, Margaret Page hopes people never lose focus of the holiday’s true meaning.
“It is not about beaches, picnics or auto races,” the Fourth District American Legion Auxiliary president told the crowd gathered at American Legion Post 20 in Plattsburgh on Monday.
“It’s a day to remember.”
“This is a sacred honor to memorialize all the veterans that have passed before us, serving our country,” said Post 20 Vice Commander Jason Laundry, who also spoke at the Memorial Day service. “Words can’t say how much it means to me personally how much people just gave from their souls to keep our country free.”
And perhaps the best way to remember those who sacrificed their lives for their county, added City of Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon, is to honor the living.
“One of the ways that we can honor those who died is also honoring those who made the decision to prepare to die but survived,” he said at the event, attended by many past and present military personnel.
In addition to the words of several prominent community members, including guest speaker 1st Lt. Kristy Coty of the U.S. Army Reserve’s Plattsburgh-based 962nd Ordnance Company, the service featured a posting of colors and rifle salute by the Post 20 Honor Guard andthe veterans organization Forty & Eight, as well as a wreath laying ceremony in remembrance of those who served in foreign wars.
Also as part of the program, attendees held hands and sang “God Bless America” in unison. And they listened as Master of Ceremonies Ronald Wood Sr. sang and performed “My Buddy” on the ukulele.
In addition, the service featured a melody of patriotic songs played on the bagpipe by William Long, who later performed “Taps,” as well.