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100th Memorial Day ceremony held in Forestville

The parade is pictured in Forestville on Monday.

FORESTVILLE — The rain stopped and the skies cleared just in time for the 100th consecutive year that J. Carter Knapp Post 953 has conducted Memorial Day ceremonies. The streets were lined with people showing their respect for service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for America’s freedom.

The parade began on Park Street and ended at the American Legion. Bagpiper Wes Bossman, led the parade followed by the Forestville Fire Department vehicles along with Silver Creek’s ladder truck. Legion members bearing flags followed. Gerald Olsen was grand marshal.

There were eight large army trucks along with an Army tank, semi with 2 tractors on the trailer, classic cars, fleet of S. Bailey trucks, Boy Scouts, Little League team, high school band and one lone horse brought up the rear.

Commander Tom Halicki led the ceremonies at the Legion. He spoke of our brave military members who have put service before self and who safeguard our freedom so we can rest soundly at night. There was a moment of silence for three members of the J. Carter Knapp Post who departed within the last year: Chris Mathias, Ed Newman and Paul Duck.

Pastor David Watson gave the invocation and closing prayer.

A tank was featured as part of the Forestville events.

Doug Allen sang the national anthem and God Bless America.

Bob Bradigan presented car awards: Charlie Stott – classic, Gary Holenbrook-antique, Joe Rodney- best of show.

Neil Gruber presented the winner of best tractor in memory of his father, Mike Gruber.

Carol Woodward from the Forestville Fall Festival Committee presented $500 each to Forestville Fire Department and Forestville Food Pantry.

Jack Spengler was introduced as the newest Eagle Scout in the area.

Marlene Bradigan from the Legion Auxiliary introduced Olivia Barthel who placed the wreath in front of the stone dedicated to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Carnations were placed on individual crosses by family members and children of the community.

The guest speaker was Marine Corp First Lt. Ryan Deas who graduated from the Naval Academy in 2021. He now trains officers in Quantico, Va. He will be attending Veterinary College and then returning to Fredonia at his family’s Range Ranch. This ranch will provide quality food for communities and provide a safe therapeutic environment to help transition and provide support for veterans. He spoke of his Memorial Day memories.

Forestville Legion members saluted the dead and Taps was played.

The Forestville Food Pantry served hot dogs and beverages following the service.

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