Parade honors sacrifice
Under cloudless blue skies and bright sunshine, Granville gathered Monday to remember those who gave their lives in service to their country.
Despite early threatening skies, with sprinkles just before the formation was about to step off, the clouds and showers moved away to make the day enjoyable for watching a parade as temperatures rose to summer heights.
Before backyard barbecues were fired up and the horseshoe games started, residents paused Monday morning and lined the streets to watch the annual Memorial Day parade honoring the nation’s military personnel who died defending the country.
A large crowd, which grew as the parade approached the Main Street Bridge for the laying of a wreath honoring naval veterans, filled Veterans Park with hundreds of young and old patriotic residents.
For the first time the Memorial day parade stopped at the World War II Veterans Memorial Clock and its two-phrase reminder for the ages: Lest We Forget – Those Who Served.”
Jerry Austin of the American Legion hung a wreath at the base of the clock honoring the veterans and the request by the man who restored the clock, John Freed, to make it a regular stop on veteran’s holiday parades.
Mayor Brian LaRose and Supervisor Matt Hicks were joined by 112th District Assemblyman Tony Jordan walking the parade route handing out small American flags to kids along the streets.
Warren and Washington County veterans affairs director and retired Army Colonel Sam Hall from Fort Ann gave the keynote address in the park.
Hall thanked all veterans and asked those in the crowd to take some time to reflect on the sacrifices still being made by the nation’s fighting men and women in the name of freedom.
Turnouts at the park in the last several years seems to show a renewed prominence for the Memorial Day holiday as something more than a three-day weekend and a kick off to the summer season, officials said.
Stepping off from North Street the parade followed the traditional route onto Main Street and down to the bridge for the placing of a wreath in honor of naval veterans before continuing to the park.
Marching in the parade were representatives from all facets of life in Granville from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to the Granville fire companies and EMS, the Granville High School Band and the junior band as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion members.
Leading the parade, as always, was the color guard from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts.