Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, each municipality could not let veterans’ sacrifices go unnoticed. Small ceremonies were held for Memorial Day.
A small gathering took place at Crawford Town Park on Monday. Community members, veterans as well as the Town of Crawford Chief of Police Dominick Blasko paid their respects at the park’s veterans memorial.
“Our community is so thankful for everything that our veterans and those that have made the ultimate sacrifice have done for our community,” Blasko said.
Veterans placed three wreaths in front of the memorial. Afterwards members of American Legion Post #1308 of Pine Bush and Veterans of Wars Memorial Post #5492 of Pine Bush did a three-volley salute. “Taps” was played to honor all the veterans from the Town of Crawford. Russell Duncan, chaplin for American Legion Post #1308 of Pine Bush and the pastor at Hopewell Presbyterian Church, who also spoke at the event, believed the Town did the best job of honoring veterans it could during the current pandemic.
“I thought it was fitting. I wish it could have been more elaborate, but given the current circumstances this is the best we could do,” he said.
The Town of Crawford plans to hold another Memorial Day celebration when the current health crisis improves.
The Town of Montgomery live-streamed their Memorial Day ceremony via their Facebook page on Sunday.
“We still wanted to honor all of those veterans who have served in the armed forces and lost their life during service…,” Montgomery Town Supervisor Brian Maher said. “Every single time we lose someone in the armed forces it hurts and here on Memorial Day is our day to reflect and honor them as well as everyone else who has fought and served our country and died.”
Former Town of Montgomery American Legion Commander Tim Dempsey noted that although Memorial Day looked different this year the memory of veterans killed in the line of duty lives on.
“Memorial Day 2020 is obviously so different in terms of the traditional ceremonies and parades,” he said. “However, as to the emotions and heartfelt gratitude we all have today for those who perished in the line of duty as well as first responders and emergency personnel, that will never change.”
Much like the Towns of Crawford and Montgomery, the Village of Maybrook held a small ceremony for Memorial Day (see page 26). Veterans placed wreaths on the memorial by Frederick Meyers Veterans Memorial Park and fired a three-volley salute. “Taps” was played to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice.
Several houses and businesses in Maybrook and Walden continue to sport red, white and blue lights for Memorial Day. This practice will continue to run through May 31. Like the Town of Crawford, members of the Walden Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Post 158 laid wreaths in front of the VFW for Memorial Day. They also fired a three-volley salute.
On Thursday, Village of Montgomery Mayor Stephen Brescia provided a Memorial Day tribute on the village’s Facebook page. He announced that American flags would be handed out on Saturday, May 23 at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Goodwill Road to be placed on peoples’ windshields.
Brescia was joined in the tribute video by Commander of the Montgomery American Legion Post 521 Mark Merring. On Monday members of the Montgomery American Legion went to different cemeteries and veterans memorials to fire salutes.
“We feel it’s that important even during the pandemic to salute our fallen...,” Merring said. “Each and every day we think about our fallen.”
The Town of Gardiner’s Memorial Day ceremony has still yet to take place. On Saturday, May 30, at 10 a.m. the Gardiner Fire Department and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8645 New Paltz color guard will place wreaths on the veterans memorial in front of the Gardiner Fire Department. During this ceremony, the VFW will fire a three-volley salute and play “Taps.”