A colorful and lively Memorial Day parade made its way down Western Avenue and out onto the Elementary School field for a ceremony to honor all who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Master of Ceremony and American Legion Post 124 Commander Tom Schroeder welcomed everyone to the ceremony and introduced State Senator. Michelle Hinchey [NY46].
“America was born out of a yearning to be free, and that yearning is protected by those who believe so deeply in their country that they are willing to sacrifice everything for it. Today, we open our hearts in deep gratitude to our fallen service members who have sacrificed everything to ensure that the gift of freedom will remain a constant for our citizens and a pillar for our world.”
Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson [NY104] said, “Memorial Day is for those who did die in service and gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. They fought for our values, they fought for our freedoms – freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association, free and fair elections – these are the things that our Veterans fought and died for and I think the way to honor them most is to remember and live up to these values every day.”
Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger said, “we pause to remember the 1,333 Ulster County residents whose lives were cut short while serving in our nations wars but the largest number, 657, served and died in the Civil War. In the face of adversity these selfless individuals answered the call to duty, leaving behind their families, friends and the comfort of their homes. We honor those who never returned to the embrace of their families again and those who faced the horrors of war with unwavering resolve and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure a brighter future for all of us.”
Supervisor Scott Corcoran said “Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and today we are here to honor their sacrifice for our American way of life and thank them for our freedoms we all enjoy and they themselves are no longer able to appreciate. We need to remember that these men and women went into the service as ordinary Americans like us but they died as heroes. They went into battle knowing that they may never see their families and friends again. They gave up their careers, their ambitions and their dreams and did this for us and for all our country and our way of life.”
Tom Corcoran described Memorial Day as a day of remembrance and reflection of those who died while serving in the U.S. Military.
“They represent the best America has to offer and we feel their loss roaming the sacred hills of Arlington Cemetery and their final resting places around the world,” he said.
Corcoran said, “There are the stories of heroes who can no longer speak for themselves, and it is up to us to not only tell their stories but to honor their service and memory. The harsh reality of war and military service in general, is that not everyone will make it home.”
Corcoran spearheaded the Hometown Hero banners that were on display at the memorial service and will soon be hung around town. He said to date there are 71 banners to honor theses heroes.
Marlboro School Superintendent Michael Rydell stressed the importance of honoring and remembering those who gave their lives, “so that we can live in the greatest country in the world. This event allowed our students and the next generation to be part of a remarkable celebration, to be active participants in the parade, this day and all the ideals that this day represents. This involvement of the students I’m certain will further ensure that as a society we will continue to honor all who have given their lives to defend our country and to protect our freedom for generations to come.”
Tom Schroeder closed out the ceremony, noting that “the men and women who died for our freedom represent the diverse patchwork that is the United States of America. They come from every ethnicity and background and in short, they look like any of us. We remember to ensure that their sacrifices are not in vain and that future generations know the importance of service and sacrifice.”