Memorial Day in Susquehanna
BY HELEN B. FOSTER
Susquehanna’s Memorial Day, held in The Shops Plaza memorial park on Monday, May 27, took on a new look this year as Mayor Bill Perry turned over his time to speak to members of the Susquehanna Community High School student council.
“I am anxious to hear what our young people have to say about Memorial Day,” Perry said.
SCHS student council adviser, Carly Batzel, the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and the wife of an active duty U.S. Marine, at the request of Perry, asked the students to answer a question, “what does Memorial Day mean to you,” and then gave them the opportunity to answer for themselves and also for the members not able to attend the annual ceremony.
When the students completed their presentations that focused on the need to say thank you to all those who keep our country free and to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice, Perry expressed his pride in young people for taking the time to honor our servicemen and women.
“We are here on the banks of the Susquehanna River to honor those who have given their all for their country. We also honor the widows and widowers of these brave men,” Judge Kenneth Seamans said.
He told the crowd which had taken part in the parade and those who came out to be part of the beautiful sunny morning ceremony, to preserve those rights of freedom.
“Vote, write letters to your Congressmen, letters to the Editor, stand up for your rights,” Seamans urged.
District Attorney Jason Legg once again invoked an event from 1775 in which citizens dropped what they were doing and grabbed a musket.
“We are here today because those men stopped their lives at that moment to give everything for the idea that men had a right to be free, Legg added.
He shared examples from succeeding generations, and noted, “Following the Civil War something happened. We stopped fighting for ourselves and began to fight for others and we are still doing that today.”
Legg said Americans are here today to honor those, 1.2 million in number, who have laid down their lives to fight tyranny, evil and spit in the eye of the devil.
When you walk from here today never hesitate to say, “I am an American-I will live free-I will defend liberty” not because of anything I have done but because of the bravery, courage and sacrifice made by 1.2 million other citizens who purchased those rights for me, he concluded.
Legion member Gene Stewart stood in for Commander Rich Brinton as Master of Ceremonies, introducing the speakers and recognizing the SCSD band, under the direction of Theresa Marino, District Justice Jodi Cordner and Pastor Leann Campbell of the Susquehanna United Methodist Church. Also recognized were Sheriff Lance Benedict and other elected officials who took part in the parade and attended the ceremony; Superintendent of Schools Bronson Stone; Boy Scout Troop 81 and Cub Pack 81; Civil Air Patrol from Broome County, N.Y., and the local firemen.
There were more than 100 Legion Riders taking part in the parade.
The laying of the wreath at the memorial was conducted by Terry Rockwell, assisted by his grandsons.
Post 86 Chaplain Stan Lindow gave the final prayer.
Taps, with an echo, was sounded as the final tribute to those who gave their all.