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Greenville salutes the fallen on Memorial Day


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

The 78th annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony were held in Greenville on Monday to salute those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

GREENVILLE — The Stars and Stripes were on full display Monday for the annual Memorial Day parade in Greenville.

It was the parade’s 78th year.

Parade goers lined Routes 81 and 32, with plenty of American flags to be found.

Marchers lined up in the parking lot of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, marched east on Route 81, and turned the corner at the intersection with Route 32 for the parade’s conclusion.

Though the skies threatened, the weather remained dry and hundreds of people turned out for the annual event.

“It’s inspiring that so many people showed up,” said Town Supervisor John Benson. “They are all involved and it’s a very good feeling. We had a nice day, too — that helps.”

A motorcycle escort led the parade Monday.Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

A motorcycle escort led the parade, following by a blue pickup trick bearing a “Let Us Never Forget” display, featuring a replica of the graves at Arlington National Cemetery. Then the color guard from the Greenville American Legion followed.

Marchers participated from all quarters of the community, including youth groups — Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Little League and more — the high school band, community organizations, area businesses and others.

At the parade’s conclusion, everyone gathered at Veterans Memorial Park at the intersection of Routes 81 and 32 for a ceremony honoring the fallen.

Memorial Day is in commemoration of service members who died in the line of duty and gave the ultimate sacrifice.

A replica of the graves at Arlington National Cemetery. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

At the park’s gazebo, the master of ceremonies was Steve Mataraza, and Post 291 Commander Ray Albin performed the Pledge of Allegiance. Post 291 Past Chaplain Jerry Adinolfi performed the invocation at the start of the ceremony and the benediction at its conclusion, Unit 291 Auxiliary President Dolores Rogers read the traditional poem “In Flanders Field,” and the Greenville American Legion 291 Honor Guard, led by Past Commander Don Savino, performed a military salute.

Theodore Nugent Jr. played taps and Catherine Huber performed “God Bless America.”

The service was a somber remembrance of the sacrifices made by service members from all conflicts and military branches.

“We feel very honored knowing that there are people here who understand what today is about — that we are honoring our servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Savino said. “It’s an honor that we are here.”

Here are more images from Monday’s parade.

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