Story by A.J. Arias
The Memorial Day Parade in Warwick brought music, pride and cheer through the middle of the Village on Mon., May 28. Members of the Nicholas P. Lesando, Jr. Post 214 American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4662 paraded down Main St. as members of the crowd applauded and yelled thanks to the troops as they passed by.
The beat of the drums from the Warwick Valley High School Band rang throughout the Village as members of the Town Board, the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, and members of the Warwick Police and Fire Departments and the Warwick Ambulance Corps marched past the crowds.
The parade stopped at both the Warwick Cemetery and the St. Stephens Cemetery for ceremonies to honor those lost in battle. Walter Vaughan, of the American Legion Post 214, led the proceedings.
Vaughan began the ceremony with a list of the names of local soldiers who have been lost in the last year. Vaughan later invited members of the Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts to join him as he spoke to them about service.
Speaking from his own experiences as a veteran, Vaughan said, “It is our job to serve our country in any way we can.”
Later Josh Koff, a member of the Boy Scouts, recited the Gettysburg Address. Koff was recognized for earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Koff’s Eagle Scout project was reconstructing the floor of the cemetery podium used for the event.
The parade took a more somber tone later on as Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard reminded those assembled of why we celebrate Memorial Day. Newhard read a story written by Thomas P. Brennan, a member of the armed forces, who was the Grand Marshal of the parade. In the story, Newhard read about how Memorial Day is different from the July 4th holiday. He stressed that Memorial Day isn’t just about pride and joy but it is combined with feelings of sadness and mourning.
Memorial Day is a day for remembering all the soldiers who lost their lives, from our community and from throughout the nation, who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom, our country and our lives.
Ceremonies like these in Warwick continue to remind citizens every day of the privilege they all have of living in the United States of America.