BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) Western New Yorkers are enjoying the extra time off and nice weather this holiday weekend. They are also participating in Memorial Day observations that began Saturday to honor those who died serving our country.
At the Connecticut Street Armory in Buffalo, an emotional tribute was held in memory of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Saturday's event also introduced a new organization called H.E.R.D. - Helping To Empower Returning And Disabled Veterans. It is a one stop shop to help area vets gain access to benefits.
Director of Public Relations for H.E.R.D, Jordan Strong, explained, "We have an entire generation of veterans returning home from war to assist them that are in need of help."
On Buffalo's East Side, many gathered at Concordia Cemetery, including newly appointed Erie County Director of Veterans Services Marlene Roll. Marlene is herself a veteran of the Gulf War, and the first woman to ever hold that position.
There is an effort underway to restore and preserve Concordia, the final resting place for hundreds of vets.
Volunteer President of Concordia Cemetery, Diane Savatteri notes, "We have over 450 veterans from all of our conflicts...many who served in peace time as well as in war. We want to remember them. We want to do research on them, so that we never forget."
The memory of fallen soldiers not lost on a troop of Boy Scouts in West Seneca. They placed flags at More than 1,000 veterans graves in the "Field Of Valor" at Saint Matthew's Cemetery.
Boy Scout James Kaminski pridefully noted, "I just think it's great that we get to honor all the past soldier."
Boy Scout Alex Saad added, "I like the fact that we're doing this to honor the people who served in our country and helped us become free."
Eyewitness News will be covering Memorial Day weekend events across Western New York remembering the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.