L ocal communities will celebrate their fallen heroes during a series of ceremonies, Memorial Day parade and community remembrances on Monday.
In Granville, the festivities kick off at 8 a.m. on May 26 with a laying of the wreath ceremony at Granville High School. An hour later, the Daughters of the American Revolution ceremony will be held at Elmwood Cemetery in Middle Granville at 9 a.m. followed by a similar ceremony at Mettowee Cemetery at 9:30 a.m.
“They are very solemn ceremonies,” Butch Hulburt, commander of the Granville VFW said.
At 10 a.m. the parade will step off from the area of the cemetery and will stop at the Veterans Memorial Clock to lay a wreath. In the parade will be members of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and both the groups auxiliaries, as well as the sons of both clubs. There will also be Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, the junior and senior high school bands and more.
The group will continue down Main Street from the clock and stop at the bridge over the Mettowee River for a ceremony to honor Navy men who were lost at sea.
The parade will then proceed to Veterans’ Park where dignitaries will say a few words.
On the Friday before Memorial Day, May 23, the Veterans of Foreign War will host Memorial Day ceremonies at a number of local schools.
The day will begin with a ceremony at 8 a.m. at the Mettawee Community School and then continue with a similar ceremony at the Wells Village School at 9:30 a.m.
At 1 p.m., a ceremony will be held at Granville High School. Butch Hulburt said it the presentation will be the first of its kind of the high school.
For more information about the parade or the ceremonies, call Hulburt at 642-1599.
Wells will hold its annual Memorial Day Parade on Friday, May 23, in coordination with the Granville Legion and VFW.
The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the school, and marchers will walk to the village green where they will conduct a brief ceremony. The procession will continue to the bridge on South Street with a brief ceremony of flowers and a moment of silence.
Students will then return to the school where they will read poems and sing songs. At 11:20 a.m. a school-wide picnic will be held and all Wells Veterans are invited to attend.
Hartford will host its Memorial Day Parade at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 26.
The parade route starts at Hartford Central School and marches up Main Street to the town barn.
Awards are being given to the best “patriotically decorated home” and the loudest fire company.
Also, 113 Assembly district candidates Carrie Woerner (D)and Steve Stallmer (R) and New York State 21st Congressional district candidates Matt Doheny (R and Independence), Elise Stefanik (R and Conservative), Aaron Woolf (D and Working Families) and Matt Funiciello (Green) will participate in the parade.
Organizers are also asking spectators to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the food pantry.
Earlier in the day, the Hartford Methodist Church will also be offering a take-out-only chicken barbeque dinner, with a food, plant and craft sale from 1 to 5 p.m.
For more information, call parade directors Jen Livingston at 429-4396 or Lori Fleming at 232-7819.
In Whitehall, Memorial Day Ceremonies will include a Catholic Mass at OLA Cemetery at 8 a.m. Celebrant will be Rev. Father Rendell Torres of Our Lady of Hope. The parade will step off at 10 a.m. from American Legion Post 83 on Main Street and proceed to the Navy Memorial Park on Broadway for a wreath laying and rifle salute. The parade will continue south on Broadway to Poultney Street to Williams where it will proceed north ending at Riverside Veteran’s Memorial Park where the traditional Memorial Day Ceremonies will take place.
This year’s Grand Marshal is Henry Gurney.
Gurney is a native of Whitehall and entered the U.S. Army shortly after graduating from Whitehall High School in 1943. He went ashore at Normandy France on D-Day with the 2nd Infantry Division and was wounded three times. After his third wound he was evacuated to England for treatment. When recovered he was reassigned to the 104th Infantry. He returned home after the war with a Bronze Star for heroism and two Purple Hearts for wounds received in combat.
Gurney married his wife, Lorraine Beckwith, at Our Lady of Angles Church in September of 1950, and they had nine children, however, two died in infancy. Lorraine passed away one month after their 55th wedding anniversary in 2005.
Gurney is retired from the U.S. Post Office and has held many American Legion Posts in his 68 years of American Legion membership. Among them are Chairman of the National Americanism Committee, Department of New York Vice Commander, 4th District Commander, Washington County Commander, and Post 0083 Commander, just to name a few. Gurney continues to serve as Post Chaplain.
Past Department of New York Commander William Kearsing, of Albany, will deliver the Memorial Day Address.
The community will also honor Gold Star Mother Catherine Aiken, whose son was killed in Vietnam.
There will be a Memorial Day parade in Poultney at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 26. The parade steps off at Stewart’s Shop and continues up Main Street to the Poultney Cemetery for services. The parade then continues to the town hall where another service is held.
Prior to the parade, members of the Poultney American Legion will host a short ceremony in Poultney.
Veterans are invited to participate in the parade and a number of civic organizations will be part of the procession as well.
Middletown Springs, Vt.
“Hometown Heroes Honoring All Heroes” will be the theme in Middletown Springs, at the town’s annual Memorial Day parade on Sunday, May 25 at 3 p.m.
The parade will start at South Street and Buxton Avenue and will finish with a flag raising program on the village green.
Veterans and active service personnel are welcome to join in leading the parade that honors them, as are individuals, organizations or clubs that would like to enter a float or marching unit.
The day prior to the parade, Saturday, May 24, the Middletown Springs Volunteer Fire Department will hold a 5K fun run/walk. The event will begin at 9 a.m. on the town green.
Fair Haven, Vt.
In Fair Haven, the community will host its annual Spring Fling Celebration and Memorial Day Parade on Saturday, May 24.
The spring fling will start at 9 a.m. and go until 3 p.m. with various activities planned for the event.
“We will have vendors in the park around 9, showing off their wares and selling food,” Vermont Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce president Kerry Fowler said. “There will be various activities available in the park for children and adults.”
Before the festivities, the Legion will do a dedication at the soldiers’ monument before the Memorial Day parade, which starts around 1 p.m.
The parade, which is a staple of the festivities, will include the local fire departments, bands and Boy Scouts among others.
The event is free to the public and everyone is welcome.
The town green is located in the center of Fair Haven, just off route 22A.