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No Rain on Parade: Dunkirk Remembers and Marks Memorial Day

by CiCi
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Despite an overcast sky and early morning rain, Dunkirk successfully held its Memorial Day service and parade, honoring those who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

Weather Concerns and Service Begin:

Initially, cloudy skies and rain at 8 a.m. cast doubt on the day’s events. However, by 9 a.m., the showers ceased, allowing the city to proceed with its plans. The Memorial Day services commenced at 10 a.m. at Memorial Park.

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Lt. Col. Rob Moore of the U.S. Marine Corps, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, spoke to the gathered crowd, urging them to honor the fallen through just and righteous actions. “Put into action your patriotism for the service of the country and to each other,” he advised.

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Speakers and Presentations:

The ceremony, organized by the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council, featured speeches from George Burns III, a retired U.S. Coast Guard member, and James Powelski of the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council Honor Guard. Cody Britton of Southpaw Signs & Stripes in Fredonia gave a special presentation on the Hero Banners displayed throughout the city, crediting the sponsors who helped place over 220 banners.

Parade Highlights:

By 11 a.m., the parade kicked off, though attendance was lower than usual due to lingering weather concerns. This year’s grand marshal, Peter Harry Gawron, a Korean War veteran who served from 1951 to 1953 and earned a Purple Heart, led the procession. The Dunkirk Middle School band provided musical performances, adding to the solemn yet celebratory atmosphere.

John D’Agostino, editor of the OBSERVER and The Post-Journal, served as the master of ceremonies for the services, while Dave Rowley, retired news director at WDOE, commented on the parade.

Dunkirk’s Memorial Day events, despite the weather, successfully honored the memory of those who gave their lives in military service, bringing the community together in remembrance and patriotism.

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