On Sunday, the Marlborough Memorial Day Parade stepped off at 1pm from the High School and wound its way through the hamlet and onto the Elementary School grounds where a special ceremony was held to honor those who have died while serving our nation.
Pastor David Stein of the Lattingtown Baptist Church, opened with a prayer. In part, “Lord, thank you for this beautiful day that you have given us to remember these brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country and their community. We lift up the families they have left behind and ask that you draw them close to your arms of mercy, comfort and healing. Help us to never forget the price that is paid for the freedoms we are blessed with each day,” he said.
State Senator James Skoufis said many often misunderstand the meaning of Memorial Day.
“It is a day to remember those who have fallen and have given their lives for this country,” he said. “My hope is that this event in the Town of Marlborough lasts in perpetuity. It’s something that we need, it is something that is clearly cherished by the community and I thank those who make it possible every year.”
Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson said it is important to keep holding Memorial Day remembrances.
“What you do here today is heroic in its own way because whether you have the American Legion, the volunteer firefighters or even help in the PTA, what are doing as part of a community is carrying on the values that our Veterans have fought and died for. I congratulate you what you do today and how important it is for what we stand for in this country.”
Ulster County Legislator Richard Gerentine, who is retiring at the end of the year, has attended 36 Memorial Day celebrations. He pointed out that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the American Legion Viebey-Sutton Post 124.
Charles W. Viebey was one of 36 sailors who were killed in WW I when a torpedo from a German U-Boat ripped open his ship two hundred miles off the coast of France. At that time he was serving as a fireman 2nd class on the newly commissioned U.S.S. Mount Vernon.
“Our town fathers wanted us to remember him and all the brave young men and women who have gone before us,” Gerentine said. “They want us to tell stories to inspire a new generation and to honor those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom.”
Myron Sutton was the last soldier from Marlborough to die in WW II.
Gerentine said although things have changed in the past hundred years, “we still value our service over ourself, we still celebrate our families, our neighbors and our community and we still know the respect and cost of freedom.”
Supervisor Al Lanzetta also touched upon the life of young Charles Viebey. He wondered when Viebey signed up for duty, did he think that one day he would lose his life in the Great War?
“That is why we are here today, to remember that day and many days like that, where brave men and women gave their lives to serve their country and their world,” he said.
Tom Schroeder, of the American Legion, said, “We continue to lose heroes today in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and in military training accidents and in missions around the world. Regardless of their age, to their families they are forever young, healthy and strong.”
Schroeder said from the American Revolution up through the War on Terrorism, 1 million Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice.
“We honor all of them, not just those with the highest medals, for the heroes who fought in the most famous battles; they all died so we can continue to cherish the things that we love, freedom, country and family,” he said. “We are also reminded on this day that in each generation brave men and women always step forward to take the oath of allegiance as members of America’s Armed Forces, willing to fight and if necessary to die for the sake of freedom...As Americans we should all remember that Freedom isn’t free, it is only possible because of our fallen heroes who paid a high price that enables us to have ceremonies and observances like this in communities across our great country.”
The ceremony came to a close with the awarding of trophies: Most Original Float went to the Marlborough Democratic Committee; Best Themed Float to Marlborough Youth Baseball and Softball; 1st Place Marching to Marlboro Cub Scout Pack 73; 2nd Place Marching to the Ancient Order of Hibernian Bagpipers; the Best Band to Marlboro Engine Company 21st Century Limited and Best In Show to Madeline’s Dance Center.
A 21 Gun Salute was done by the Marlboro Honor Guard, followed by the playing of Taps by Victoria Sorace.