BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — This Memorial Day, a number of communities and organizations are holding Memorial Day ceremonies. Here's the ones happening in your community:
Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park
Throughout Memorial Day weekend, 7,300 flags will blanket the grounds of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park to represent the average number of United States Veterans who have lost their battle with PTSD per year, an average of 22 per day. For a $22 donation, you will receive one of the flags from our Memorial Day weekend salute along with a certificate. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Battle Within Foundation. The ongoing mission of The Battle Within Foundation is to connect Veterans with the care they need and to help with funding.
From 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ceremonies and services will take place at the various memorials at the park, click here for a full list and times.
American Legion Services
The Erie County American Legion will be holding its traditional Memorial Day Services, decorating the 7,100 Veteran graves in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Main Street and Delavan Avenue, Buffalo, New York, at 8:00 a.m. Traditional services will be conducted at The American Legion Monument beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Erie County American Legion Commander Gary Wald will give the principal address.
Elmwood Village Memorial Day Service
After a three year hiatus due to COVID, the 15th annual Interdenominational Service for Memorial Day will be held at 10:00 a.m. at St. John's-Grace Episcopal Church at the intersection of Lafayette, Richmond and Bidwell Parkway. The service is open to all members of the community. The interdenominational service honors all those who have served in our military, and especially those who have died for our American values of freedom, equality, justice and community.
For the safety of the many veterans and seniors attending, masks and social distancing are required.
Town of Tonawanda/Village of Kenmore Memorial Day Parade
After a two-year absence, due to COVIDSafety concerns, the Milton J Brounshidle American Legion Post and the Town of Tonawanda are hosting their town's parade starting at 11:00 a.m. on Delaware Avenue, beginning in the Town of Tonawanda, continuing South into the Village of Kenmore, and turning onto Lincoln Boulevard, ending at Elmwood Avenue.
Grand Marshalls for this year's parade will be a group of WWII Veterans that had been scheduled to be honored at the last year's canceled event.
West Seneca Memorial Day Ceremony
The West Seneca Joint Veterans Committee will honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military with a special solemn Memorial Day Ceremony to be held at 11:00 a.m. in the Walkway of Freedom complex.
The guest speaker for the event will be Colonel Lara Morrison, the new commander for the 914th Air Refueling Wing. Colonel Lara B. Morrison is the first female Commander of the 914th Air Refueling Wing, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York. Colonel Morrison will share her thoughts on why Memorial Day is so important to all Americans and why we must forever honor the sacrifices of our military personnel.
In addition, a free Civil War Living History event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. along the Walkway of Freedom, featuring the re-creation of a Civil War base camp by members of The Civil War re-enactment regiment, the 155th New York Volunteer Infantry under the command of Captain David Bertuca and the U.S. Civil War Engineer brigade under the leadership of Captain Ray Ball Sr. Experience what camp life was like during the Civil War, see military ceremonies and hear educational information from the regiment members. The Union Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps, with Fife Major Jim Pace (West Seneca town historian) and Drum Major Brian Seibel will perform 100% Civil War period music and marches. This Civil War event is educational fun for the whole family.
Elmira Memorial Day Ceremony
The public is invited to attend a program celebrating the life and legacy of John W. Jones at his grave in Elmira's Woodlawn Cemetery at 11:30 AM.
The program will feature spirituals sung by The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers under the direction of Dr. Baruch J. Whitehead of Ithaca College. They recently performed at Carnegie Hall in NYC.
John W. Jones was a freedom seeker who escaped from Virginia and settled in Elmira. Mr. Jones was the first sexton of Woodlawn Cemetery and made history by compassionately and respectfully burying 2973 confederate soldiers who died in the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp. As a result of his meticulous record keeping, the US government designated the section where the confederate dead were buried a National Cemetery. Mr. Jones was also an abolitionist and agent of the Underground Railroad in Elmira. He, along with other abolitionists, assisted 800 other fugitives of slavery escape to freedom.
Amherst Memorial Day Ceremony
A Memorial Day Rememberance and Wreath Laying Ceremony will be hosted by the Amherst Veterans Committee at 1:00 p.m. at the Williamsville Cemetery.