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No rain on parade: City remembers, marks Memorial Day holiday

Students with the Northern Chautauqua Catholic School in Dunkirk marched on Monday.

Cloudy skies and rainy weather around 8 a.m. brought a bit of pessimism to the possibility there would be a Memorial Day service and parade later in the morning. But, as luck would have it, shortly after 9 a.m., the showers let up.

Despite the clouds and wind, Dunkirk was able to remember and celebrate on Memorial Day. Services began at 10 a.m. from Memorial Park.

Lt. Col. Rob Moore of the U.S. Marine Corp. was one of the speakers. Since 2004, he has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and now works with veterans at the Range Ranch that is just outside Fredonia. He urged those in the crowd to remember those who sacrificed their lives for this nation. “Be committed to actions that are just and righteous,” Moore said, noting a list of items citizens can do to remember the fallen. “Put into action your patriotism for service of country and to each other.”

Other speakers during the ceremony, presented by the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council, included George Burns III, U.S. Coast Guard retired, and James Powelski of the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council Honor Guard.

Cody Britton of Southpaw Signs & Stripes in Fredonia also offered a special presentation regarding the Hero Banners that have been placed around the city. He listed a dozen sponsors who helped get more than 220 banners placed.

Members of the Dunkirk Middle School band perform.

Around 11 a.m., the parade was underway though attendance was down due to weather concerns. This year’s grand marshal was Peter Harry Gawron, a Korean War veteran, he served from 1951 to 1953 and earned a Purple Heart after sustaining injuries in service.

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

Members of the Sons of Liberty Riders are pictured.

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