By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
GREENVILLE — The 16th annual Greenville Day will be held this weekend and organizers say they are looking for a few helping hands.
The two-day event, scheduled for Sept. 23 and 24, will be held at George V. Vanderbilt Town Park on Route 32 and is organized by Community Partners of Greenville and the town.
Each year, the event draws several thousand people over the course of the two days. A small cadre of volunteers has been working for months organizing the festivities, which will include carnival rides, pony rides, live music, over 60 vendors, a musical talent contest, a petting zoo, a tent craft fair and business expo, and more.
In 2021, more than 3,000 people turned out for Greenville Day. More attended the event in pre-COVID years.
With so many people headed for Greenville and the park this weekend, organizers say they could use the help of volunteers on the two days of the event, this Friday and Saturday.
“If anyone is willing to come in for an hour or two to help direct traffic or do a bunch of different tasks that we have to do, that would be great,” said organizer William Bardel of Community Partners of Greenville.
The group has asked the school district to spread the word to get teen volunteers to help out, but there will be plenty of work to go around.
“If you are interested in volunteering for Greenville Day, Community Partners and the town would certainly appreciate it,” Bardel said. “Please email us no later than Tuesday at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
GREENVILLE — It has been 81 years since the fateful day of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese military struck at Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack that one day later would lead to the United States entering World War II.
Veterans and their supporters in Greenville held the annual Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony Wednesday evening at American Legion Post 291 to remember those lost and injured in the attack.
“Out of the devastation, our country came together and it was set in motion to defeat our enemy,” said Vietnam veteran Jim Wilcox, who hosts the service each year. “The men and women stationed at Pearl Harbor and its surrounding bases are an example of what heroes are made of and why ‘Remember Pearl Harbor’ should remain forever in the hearts and minds of all Americans.”
On Dec. 7, 1941, the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese military, leaving 2,403 service members and civilians dead and another 1,178 injured. Two U.S. Navy battleships were sunk — the USS Arizona and the USS Utah — and 188 aircraft were destroyed.
The annual ceremony at the American Legion Post on Maple Avenue has been held for 30 years or so, always on the anniversary of the attack, and has grown over the years.
“It started out very small and it has grown into this, and every year it’s a better turnout,” said American Legion Post 291 Commander Raymond Albin. “As a Navy veteran, this is near and dear to my heart.”
Three scouts from the Boy Scout Troop 42 Color Guard carried in the U.S. flag at the start of the ceremony, followed by the benediction from the Rev. Jerry Adinolfi.
“We gather together this evening some 81 years after the horrific surprise attack upon the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to remember the heroic lives of those 2,403 military and civilian personnel who were killed on that fateful day of Dec. 7,”Adinolfi said. “Indeed, this was promptly labeled by President [Franklin] Roosevelt a day of infamy.”
Each year, services are held around the nation remembering the day and honoring those who were lost.
“Most of the time when we think of Hawaii, we think of sandy beaches and palm trees and resorts, but on Dec. 7, we as a nation think back to a Sunday morning 81 years ago and remember what was happening on that island paradise,” Wilcox said. “Americans were dying as planes of Japanese rained down death and destruction on them.”
The attack led America into the war and united the nation, Wilcox said.
“Yes, the Japanese had struck a mighty blow to America, but in doing so had brought the country together as never before,” Wilcox said. “The sleeping giant was awakened and about to start on a path that would eventually see Japan brought to her knees for this act of aggression.”
Boy Scout Troop 42 Scoutmaster Colin Tumey said the troop has been participating in the annual ceremony for a long time. American Legion Post 291 has been the sponsoring organization for the troop for 70 years.
“We work closely with the Legion as our sponsors and we have been coming here to do this for many years,” Tumey said. “Every year they ask some of our boys to come and we are honored to do it. It’s very nice working with the Legion members and I think it’s good for the boys to remember a little bit of our history.”
For Albin, keeping the memories of the loss and sacrifice alive is key.
“I want people to know this shouldn’t be forgotten. There are kids today in school that don’t even remember 9/11, so we need to educate the youth and let them know about this day,” Albin said.
Those who died and were injured in the attack, and those that followed, should be honored for their service, according to Wilcox.
“They all should be remembered as heroes,” he said.