On Memorial Day, Take Time to Reflect on the Price of Freedom

As we go through our daily schedules and routines, it’s easy to take fundamental American freedoms for granted. But it’s important to remember that our liberty and national identity were hard-won by soldiers who sacrificed so much and even gave their lives to secure the principles that form our country’s foundation. We are always thankful for the men and women who have served our nation in the military, but especially on Memorial Day – a time when we all stand together.

New York was the first state to enact Memorial Day as an official holiday, in 1873.1 The tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves in spring began even earlier; Waterloo, NY, residents hosted one of the first observances in 1866.2 We continue that spirit today, especially because our state is home to nearly 900,000 members of the military who served as far back as World War II.3

Here in our community, it’s important to remember local soldiers who gave their lives in battle to protect and serve our country. These courageous men and women must be recognized for their sacrifices, alongside the loved ones they left behind. To honor those uniformed men and women who have lost their lives in battle there are local parades and ceremonies being held this Memorial Day. Here is a list of times and locations for Monday, May 30:

Chili Memorial Day Parade: Parade begins at Grenell Drive and continues along Chili Avenue to the Veterans Memorial in front of the Chili Senior Center, 3235 Chili Ave. Ceremony following the parade. Sponsored by Chili American Legion Post 1830. 8:30 a.m. May 30. Grenell Drive, Chili.

Gates Memorial Day Service: To honor the men and women who have served our country. 9 a.m. May 30. Gates Community Center, 1605 Buffalo Road, Gates. (585) 247-6100 or www.townofgates.org.

Scottsville Memorial Day Parade: It starts on Beckwith Avenue; proceeds down Rochester Street and Main Street and ends at the Smith-Warren American Legion Post 367. 9:30 a.m. May 30. Smith-Warren American Legion Post 367, 61 Main St. (585) 889-4330.

Rochester Memorial Day Parade: To honor the armed forces and those who have given their lives for our country. Presented by the Veterans Memorial and Executive Council. It forms at East Avenue near Scio Street, then heads down East Avenue to Main Street and ends at Plymouth Avenue. 10:30 a.m. May 30. Main Street, www.cityofrochester.gov.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 20 Memorial Day Ceremony: The ceremony will honor all men and women that sacrificed their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. 1 p.m. May 30. Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Highland Park, 1440 South Avenue.

Remembrance and Hope: A Memorial Day service of remembrance of the victims of the current wars. 9 a.m. May 30. Frank and Janet Lamb Sister Cities Bridge, Pedestrian bridge at Genesee Crossroads Park, Bragdon Place.


1. mentalfloss.com/article/27858/10-things-remember-about-memorial-day

2. nytimes.com/2012/05/27/us/many-claim-to-be-memorial-day-birthplace.html

3. va.gov/vetdata/docs/SpecialReports/State_Summaries_New_York.pdf