It was a beautifully sunny Monday morning and the weather was just perfect for the Town of Lloyd’s annual Memorial Day Parade. The parade kicked off at 9 a.m. and was led by Grand Marshall Raymond Snyder, who was driven by Town Councilman Lenny Auchmoody in a Cadillac from Autos by Joseph.
The Grand Marshall car was followed by members of our fire department, police department, marching bands, local organizations, clubs and sports teams all donning red, white and blue and waving their American Flags with pride. Just some of the many participating groups this year included: Gina Marie’z Academy of Performing Arts, Highland Babe Ruth League, and the marching bands from both Highland Middle School and High School, Highland Village Nursery School, and Southern Ulster Lacrosse.
Members of the community lined up alongside the streets as far up as the Highland Middle School all through town and on side streets to wave at the parade participants as they marched by or, in some cases, rode by on floats.
After the parade completed its route, members of the American Legion Lloyd Post 193, Highland Hose Co. No. 1 and local town leaders and politicians gathered to host a Memorial Day service. The community members gathered around while the Highland High School Marching Band, led by Dan Shaut, opened the ceremony with the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Highland Hose Co. No. 1 Fire Commissioner, John Fraino, hosted the service and began by thanking the many town leaders and board members including, but not limited to the Honorable Judge Gene Rizzo, Town Supervisor Paul Hansut, Town Councilmen Lenny Auchmoody, Mike Guerrerro, Joe Mazzetti and Claire Winslow. He continued to thank the members of the Lloyd Police Department, The Highland Hose fire department, and the community organizations and businesses that supported the Legion in a successful parade day.
The ceremony took a moment to honor three long-time members of the American Legion Lloyd Post 193, who were also all WWII Veterans, that were lost this year. As Fraino read their names aloud, the bell from the United Methodist Church rung in their honor. The community members took a moment of silence as they heard the bell toll for Benjamin Bragg Sr., Carmine Iadorola, and Dominick “Lindy” Palladino.
Fraino congratulated the Highland Hose Co. No. 1 on celebrating their 125th anniversary this year, and mentioned a large celebration and parade coming up on July 27th. Additionally, he congratulated the national American Legion organization on celebrating their 100th anniversary! Fraino used this time, to encourage local community members to help support the American Legion. They are actively seeking volunteers, new Veteran members and community support to continue their active involvement within the Town of Lloyd.
Keynote speaker Paul Hansut approached the podium for what will be his last year doing so as town supervisor, as he will not be seeking reelection upon completion of his term. Hansut spoke to the crowd paying tribute to many of the fallen heroes not just in the country, but in the small town in which we reside. He took a moment to honor the sacrifice made by R.E. Johnson, L.P. Iorio, R.J. DiLorenzo, Eugene Williams, Doran Chan and Michael Oremus.
Hansut continued by saying “there are many ways you can keep our fallen, as well as our injured and ill veterans in mind and throughout the year. A donation, perhaps to the American Legion, a simple Thank You to those who have served….it could be driving a Veteran to a medical appointment or befriending a Veteran”. Hansut continued his message that by the community following up with some of these small gestures, “we can assure that the sacrifices made by our nations finest and bravest never go unappreciated and that their memories are never forgotten”. To wrap up, Hansut invited his 4-year-old grandson, Lorenzo to the podium. Lorenzo took the microphone and warmed everyone’s hearts as he proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Moments before Sgt. Christopher Froland the Commander of American Legion Lloyd Post 193 approached the podium to speak, the fire sirens could be heard wailing in the background, reminding us that many of our local heroes put their lives on the line on a daily basis. Many of the members of the Highland Hose company had to run off in the middle of the service in order to respond to the fire calls. The members of the community were asked to wish them well and keep them in our thoughts to remain safe as they rush off to the emergency. Sgt. Froland spoke, while the sirens carried on in the background, on the importance of remembering our history, who we came from, and how it is our duty to keep our past alive. “We must remember those we have lost so that we could accomplish the amazing deeds that we have as a United States thus far. We too must answer a call. A call to remind ourselves the price of the liberties and our happiness. We cannot forget.”
The Memorial Day service went on to include the playing of Taps by Sgt. Christopher Froland, and the firing squad honoring fallen members of our United States Military. A memorial wreath, of red, white and blue was placed by Sgt. Froland at the base of the memorial standing in town, before the United Methodist Church of Highland. White homing pigeons were released, by Mr. Bozydaj to symbolize the lives lost in the wars of our nation’s history.
The day of remembrance and honor concluded with a benediction from Pastor Arlene Dawber of United Methodist Church. Pastor Dawber spoke directly to the crowd. “For the last 22 years that I have been here, the people of Highland and Lloyd should be proud. You come to this, you show up at this, you honor folks. ….From the youngest to the oldest, you’re here”. And, once again, the Highland High School Marching Band performed, this time Grand Old Flag to send everyone off at the end of the day’s events.