TUCKAHOE, N.Y. Eastchester and Tuckahoe residents enjoyed a patriotic treat on Monday, as the Parris Island Marine Band, straight out of South Carolina, graced the local Memorial Day celebrations.
Residents joined war veterans and local town officials in honoring those who died in battle during a daylong celebration. After participating in the Bronxville village parade in the morning, local veterans joined area Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops in laying a series of ceremonial wreaths at war monuments.
After the morning's festivities, a mid-day memorial service was held at Holy Mount Cemetery. Local politicians, residents and scouts joined veterans for services and then placed flowers and American flags on veterans graves.
Memorial Day is about remembering those who didnt come home, said Robert Foster, commander of VFW Post 2285 in Eastchester. Its about celebrating what those brave men and women gave us.
The annual Memorial Day Parade, which began at the Eastchester Library and wound down Route 22 before concluding at Depot Square in Tuckahoe, was held later than usual but still drew a sizable crowd. Local police and fire personnel joined many of Tuckahoe and Eastchesters civic organizations, as well as a series of bands, to further honor the soldiers who didnt make it home.
During a speech after the parade, Eastchester Town Supervisor Anthony S. Colavita said it's important to remember the soldiers who died in battle to preserve the ideals of America.
Memorial Day is a chance for us to stop, pause and reconnect with history. We should focus on whats most important: our freedom, he said. Its a chance for all Americans to come together and honor those weve lost.
Although its a somber holiday, Foster said Memorial Day gives all veterans a chance to honor their fellow soldiers who died.
Those veterans gave their lives, some intentionally to save those of us that came home, he said. Thats whats really important to us the vets that were in war with them.
After the parade, a free barbecue was held for residents, and the Parris Island Marine Band put on a show outside the Generoso Pope Foundation Building. The band wowed the crowd with a series of patriotic tunes and elaborate marching choreography.
In the conclusion of his speech, Colavita said that its important that everyone take the time to express their appreciation for veterans.
We need to pay tribute to the men who gave up their lives and bodies to protect what our flag encompasses, he said. Our duty is to keep the memory of those soldiers alive. We owe them our thanks for all that we have.
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