Memorial Day weekend local activities

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:45

MONROE-It's Memorial Day weekend, symbolic to many as the kickoff to summer activities. It's also a time to remember the sacrifices American military servicemen gave to preserve freedom here and abroad. MONROE n In Monroe, four local veterans organizations will team up Sunday, May 26 for Memorial Day activities. Participating will be American Legion Post 488, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8858, Pfc Irving Zuckerman Post 758 of the Jewish American Veterans and Mulligan-Eden Post 1573 of the American Legion. The veterans will line up at 1 p.m. at Smith's Clove Park. At 1:30 p.m. they'll march through the Village of Monroe to the Veterans Memorial Park on Route 17M and continue to the Monroe Cemetery for service. * * * WOODBURY n Highland Mills resident Richard Weyant, a World War II veterans who was at Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, will be grand marshal for the Town of Woodbury Memorial Day Parade on Sunday, May 26. A World War II hero, Richard Weyant evacuated the wounded on Omaha Beach while serving as a medic during the invasion. The parade will form at 1 p.m. at Bond Street in Central Valley, and proceed north on Route 32 at 1:30 p.m. Marchers will pause for wreath laying ceremonies at the World War I Monument at Summit Avenue and Victory Park in Highland Mills. The parade will end in the Cemetery of the Highlands at Route 32 and Ridge Road. Memorial services will be held at the Veterans' Monument of the Highlands and the Firemen's Monument of the Highlands at 3 p.m. Other dignitaries attending the Woodbury Memorial Day Services include Congressman Benjamin Gilman, Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun and Woodbury Police Chief Robert Kwiatkowski, a 1966 Monroe-Woodbury High School graduate who became a war-decorated captain in Vietnam. The parade will feature marching bands, color guards, fire departments, classic cars, veterans' groups, the Freedom of Expression Band and many other local organizations. Refreshments for the marchers will be served by the Woodbury Community Association after the ceremonies. * * * HARRIMAN n All veterans and residents are invited to attend a Veterans Mass at 10 .m. Monday, May 27, in the cemetery at St. Anastasia Church in Harriman. Rev. Joseph Reynolds will officiate. A Memorial Day service will follow at approximately 11 a.m. in Harriman Square. Numerous local and county officials are expected to participate. Bob Maher, commander of the Harriman American Legion post, invited all members of the community to attend and honor the memory of America's fallen men and women who gave their lives for freedom. * * * The annual Memorial Day observance has been a part of the American scene for more than 100 years. In 1868, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic issued his historical for such an observance, which established the tradition of public ceremonies "to respect comrades who died in defense of their country." For many years after the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic in the north and the Confederate Veterans in the south took charge of Memorial Day ceremonies in their respective communities. When these organizations became unable to carry on activities, these rites (which include the decoration of all known veterans grave sites), the American Legion pledged its help to the perpetuation of the annual observance of Memorial Day. Although it began as an occasion to commemorate the deal of all wars, Memorial Day has since become a time for decoration of graves of family land friends.