Cassadaga American Legion pays tribute to veterans

Submitted photo On Monday, members of the Cassadaga American Legion Honor Guard performed at a dozen cemeteries to honor veterans. The tributes began at Charlotte Center Cemetery.

CASSADAGA — Members of the Cassadaga American Legion Honor Guard paid trbute to fallen veterans in 12 cemeteries on Memorial Day.

Beginning at 6:45 a.m. when the outside temperature was 46 degrees, the first stop was at the Charlotte Center Cemetery. The men and women lined up in the cemetery, led by James Hayward, followed by a prayer from John Sipos, who served as the chaplain for the day. A 21-gun salute was performed, followed by Ron Boyland playing taps on the bugle.

The group would move to the next cemetery. This year, a bus was rented for the 48-mile round trip.

The second stop was Burnhams Hollow Cemetery, followed by Christian Cemetery in Arkwright.

Members then traveled to Bachelor Hill Cemetery, which was the first cemetery for Cassadaga, then to Stockton to Evergreen Cemetery and Greenwood Cemetery.

From there, the group traveled to Oregon Cemetery in Centralia, and to Red Bird Corners Cemetery.

By the time the group reached Sinclairville, they were part of the 9 a.m. parade. The next stop was Pickett Corner Cemetery, and from there, the group traveled to Lily Dale for a ceremony and concluded with Cassadaga.

Once in Cassadaga, the group lined up in the village park at the corner of Route 60 and Maple Avenue, and with the Cassadaga Valley Central School Band playing, held a gun salute there. The honor guard led everyone in the annual Memorial Day Parade along Maple Avenue to Cassadaga Cemetery. There, a special service was held for many by Legion Commander Rusty Jones and Sons of the American Legion Commander Brad Blizzard.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by members of the Cassadaga Reds Baseball Team, and the National Anthem was played by the Cassadaga Valley Central School band. The invocation was given by chaplain Tom Rugani. Cassadaga Mayor William Dorman spoke, followed by Stockton Supervisor Dave Wilson.

New to the program was two songs by the Valley Community Choir led by Debbie Runge Meeder. A welcome was given by Auxiliary President Ranee Kaus. The keynote speaker was Chief Master Sergeant Joy Josephson, a 1992 graduate of CVCS and who served 24 1/2 years in the U.S. Air Force.

The Honor Guard raised the flags to full staff. The benediction was given by Tom Rugani and closing comments were given by Legion Commander Jones.


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