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What Memorial Day means to some western New Yorkers

Posted at 4:10 PM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 16:10:10-04

Inside the Williamsville Cemetery, dozens attended the annual Memorial Day ceremony.

Joe Kirisits included. “I remember the guys in my ship, you know. I had a good crew.”

The 94-year-old World War II Veteran served three years in the Pacific. “Most of the guys from my ship are gone now. I was just a kid. I was 18.”

That's why he was there. He was remembering the fallen, and he wasn't alone.

Caroline Ripellino has been coming to the ceremony for as long as she can remember. “It's a remembrance so future generations don't forget them,” she said.

Dozens also attended this Memorial Day ceremony at Canalside. It included the dedication of the "Battle Within" monument. The permanent statue at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park honors veterans who died from PTSD.

“Mental illness begins with public awareness and this monument is a large reminder of that,” said Foundation President, Dr. Mark Donnelly.