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Memorial Day parades, ceremonies honor those who died for their country

The annual Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Memorial Day Parade, one of the largest in the state, gets underway at 11 a.m. Monday and proceeds down Delaware Avenue from south of Sheridan Drive to Lincoln Boulevard to Elmwood Avenue.

It will feature dozens of marching units, including high school bands, fire departments and community groups, which will assemble at 10:30 a.m.

Grand marshal will be Charles T. Catalina, who joined the Navy in 1948, served on the Great Lakes and the East Coast and was part of an air crew that trained and flew on the Navy PBY “Flying Boat.” A volunteer at the Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center for the past 13 years, he is a life member and past commander of Harry E. Crosby Post 2472, Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he currently serves as chaplain, and is commander of Roll of Honor Chapter 120, Disabled American Veterans.

Prior to the parade, members of Brounshidle Post 205, American Legion, will hold their annual wreath-laying and 21-gun salute beginning at 8 a.m. in Failing Cemetery at Delaware and Willow Breeze roads.

Ceremonies also will be at held at the Veterans Monument at Colvin Boulevard and Brighton Road at 8:15 a.m.; the Vietnam Memorial at 8:30 a.m.; the VFW Monument in Elmlawn Cemetery at 8:45 a.m.; the Field of Honor in Elmlawn at 9 a.m.; the World War II Monument in Mount Olivet Cemetery at 9:15 a.m.; the Municipal Building at 9:20 a.m.; and the monument in front of the Brounshidle Post, 3354 Delaware Ave., at 9:30 a.m.

Throughout the weekend, there will be parades, wreath-layings and other ceremonies:

Saturday

• The Niagara Falls Community Memorial Day Parade will begin at 10 a.m., proceeding from the City Market, 1800 Pine Ave., to the American Veterans Monument in Hyde Park. Parade announcer will be Tom Darro from WJJL AM 1440.

Volunteers will walk along the parade route collecting personal care items, socks, underwear and gently used books and DVDs for the troops. Collection bins also will be located at Pine Pharmacy in the City Market.

The grand marshals are Navy veteran and former city manager Harvey Albond, 86; Army First Lt. William Kressman, 97; Marine Corps Pvt. First Class John Gawel, 97, one of four brothers who served during World War II, and one of his brothers, Navy Fireman First Class Chester Gawel, 93.

• The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park will hold a wreath-laying ceremony and a Wall of Honor ceremony recognizing five local veterans at 9 a.m. at the Veterans Hall of Honor Building, One Naval Park Cove at Canalside.

• Lakeside Cemetery, in collaboration with Hamburg Township Post 1419, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Cub Scout Packs 143 and 592, will honor veterans with a special ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in Lakeside Cemetery’s Field of Valor near the Camp Road entrance.

• An exhibit of the World War II artwork of the late Norman Maffei of Franklinville will be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Hamburg Historical Society, 5859 South Park Ave. Maffei was with the 158th Field Artillery Battalion of the 45th Infantry Division, which saw extensive fighting in Italy during World War II. During the Italian Campaign, Maffei made hundreds of paintings, drawings and sketches.

• Riverdale Cemetery Association holds a ceremony at 11 a.m. in the Veterans Section of Riverdale Cemetery, Old Lewiston Road, Lewiston. Military honors will be rendered by the Conrad F. Kania Detachment No. 230 of the Marine Corps League. Prayers will be said for the deceased U.S. military veterans. Lewiston-Porter High School students will offer musical selections and a history of Memorial Day. Guest speakers will be Lt. Col. Steven Hefferon of the 107th Comptroller Flight at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and Lewiston Town Supervisor Steve Broderick.

Sunday

• The City of North Tonawanda, in conjunction with the City of Tonawanda, will hold a series of Memorial Day events that will honor all five branches of the military beginning with a morning cannon salute at 6 a.m. on Sweeney Street near the Delaware Street Bridge along the Erie Canal border with the City of Tonawanda.

A “Service at Sea” ceremony will be held at noon on the Renaissance Bridge near the intersection of Webster and Sweeney streets. The Twin Cities Memorial Parade will march down Payne Avenue, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Taber Place in the City of Tonawanda and concluding in Brauer Park adjacent to North Tonawanda City Hall.

• The Lake View Community parade starts at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of St. John Paul II Catholic Church, 2052 Lakeview Road, with a ceremony immediately following in the Lakeview Fire Hall, 2005 Lakeview Road.

• The Sons & Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War will hold their annual ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Monument in Section 14 of Forest Lawn to honor Civil War veterans buried in that section.

• Adam Plewacki Post 799, American Legion, will offer a military salute service following 11 a.m. Mass Sunday in St. Andrew Parish, 111 Crocker St., Sloan. The military salute will include a reading of the names of veterans who have died since Memorial Day 2015.

• The Village of Blasdell, in conjunction with AMVETS Post 897 and the Thomas E. Tehan Post 1449, American Legion, will host their annual Memorial Day Parade at 1 p.m. from Firemen’s Park, 205 Lake Ave., to the Community Center, 54 Madison Ave., where there will be a brief service, followed by refreshments. Local children are invited to decorate their bicycles, scooters or wagons and join in the parade.

• Pvt. Leonard Post Jr. Post 6251, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will lead a salute to veterans at 1 p.m. at Veterans Plaza in St. Matthew’s Cemetery, 180 Old French Road, West Seneca. Reservations are preferred. Call 822-1960 or visit stmatthewscemetery.com.

• The Town of Evans Veterans Committee will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 2 p.m. at Evans Town Hall, 8787 Erie Road, Angola. Donna Mallia, director of the Buffalo VA Regional Office, will be keynote speaker. The Evans Veteran of the Year Award will be presented to World War II Navy veteran Stanley Brown and Vietnam War Navy veteran Kenneth Currin.

• The Jesse Clipper Post 430, American Legion, will lead a Memorial Day ceremony at 2 p.m. at the memorial at Michigan and William streets.

Memorial Day

• The Erie County American Legion holds its annual ceremony to honor veterans in Forest Lawn. At 8 a.m., flags will be placed on the graves of veterans in the Field of Valor and the cemetery’s American Legion section. At 9 a.m., ceremony will be held in front of the American Legion Memorial Monument in the Veterans Section, near the Main Street gates.

• The 44th annual Wilson Historical Society Memorial Day Fair will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the museum grounds, 645 Lake St., Wilson. The American Legion will sponsor a special Memorial Day flag-raising ceremony at noon. The fair also includes a flea market with more than 250 vendors, free entertainment by the Bar Room Buzzards, Chiavetta’s chicken barbecue, hot dogs and burgers, and more. The Antique Car Museum and Museum Depot will be open. Parking is free. A shuttle bus is available.

• More than a dozen groups will join Orchard Park’s Memorial Day Parade, which begins at 9 a.m. at the library, 4570 S. Buffalo St., and continues to West Quaker Street and Veterans Park.

Leah Berst, a 2013 Orchard Park High School graduate, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Abbey Black, an eighth-grader at Orchard Park Middle School, will recite the Gettysburg Address.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Terry McGuire, a 1987 graduate of West Point and public affairs specialist with the Veterans Administration, will speak. Lifelong Orchard Park resident Steve McCarville will serve as master of ceremonies.

• Lancaster Post 7275, Veterans of Foreign Wars, holds a memorial service at 9 a.m. in Lake Avenue Veterans Park, followed by a parade from the park along Lake Avenue, School Street, Pleasant Avenue and Central Avenue to Lancaster Town Hall. Refreshments will be served following the parade at the VFW Post, 3741 Walden Ave.

• The Town of West Seneca Veterans Committee will lead a salute to veterans at 9 a.m. at Veterans Plaza in St. Matthew’s Cemetery, 180 Old French Road, West Seneca. Reservations are preferred. Call 822-1960 or visit stmatthewscemetery.com.

• The Depew Joint Veterans Committee begins its annual Memorial Day ceremonies with church services at 9:15 a.m. in Vine Wesleyan Church, 425 Penora St., Depew, followed by a parade from the Village Hall to Veterans Park at 10:15 a.m. followed by a memorial service in the park. Judge Anthony Cervi will be guest speaker. Refreshments will be served at the Depew Fire Hall on Meridian Street after services.

• Retired Air Force Col. John J. Higgins will be the featured speaker at Grand Island’s annual Memorial Day service at 10 a.m. in Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Park, Grand Island Boulevard and Baseline Road. It will include a wreath-laying and a rifle salute.

• The Village of Angola will hold its annual Memorial Day Parade at 10 a.m. from the Angola Fire Hall, 41 Commercial St., to Forest Avenue Cemetery for services. The parade then will return to the fire hall.

• The Oakwood Cemetery Association will hold a service at 10 a.m. in the Veterans Section of the cemetery at 763 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, to remember those who have been buried there during the past year and to honor the memory of veterans buried there. Monte and Marcia Jones will provide patriotic songs, bugler Dominic Schrock will perform and there will be a reading of “In Flanders Fields.”

• In Eden, Newell-Faulkner Post 880, American Legion, will hold a rifle salute at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Cemetery at 10 a.m. The Memorial Day parade will begin at 11 a.m. from Laing Funeral Home, 2724 W. Church St., and proceed to Eden Evergreen Cemetery, where a wreath-laying and service will begin at 11:30.

• The Village of Hamburg Memorial Day Parade starts at 10:15 a.m. from Union Pleasant Elementary School along Main and Buffalo streets to Memorial Park, where a ceremony will take place at 11 a.m.

• The West Seneca parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. from Southgate Plaza and proceeds north on Union Road to the Vietnam Memorial located in front of West Seneca Town Library, followed by a flag ceremony. Refreshments will follow at West Seneca Post 735, American Legion, across the street.

• The 74th/174th Infantry, New York National Guard Veterans Association, will hold its annual Memorial Day observance at 11 a.m. in front of the Doughboy Monument at the Connecticut Street Armory, 184 Connecticut St.

• Clarence Post 838, American Legion, leads the annual parade for the Clarence community, which will assemble at 10:30 a.m. from Clarence High School, Main Street and Gunnville Road. The march begins at 11 a.m. and ends at Clarence Town Park, 10450 Main St., followed by ceremonies at noon in the Town Park Clubhouse. Chiavetta’s chicken barbecue dinners and drinks will be available.

• George F. Lamm Post 622, American Legion, and Amherst Post 416, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will hold their 77th annual Memorial Day ceremonies at 11 a.m. in the Williamsville Cemetery, 5402 Main St.

• Lake Ontario Post 313, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. in the historic Fort Niagara Cemetery.

• The Wales town parade lines up at 11:30 a.m. at Hunters Creek Road, proceeding at noon to the Edmund “Bud” Bogucki Veteran Memorial Park and walkway on Route 20A.

• The Town of Cheektowaga’s ceremony begins at 1 p.m. at the Veterans Monument in Town Park, 3600 Harlem Road.

• Hamburg Post 1419, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 2985 Lakeview Road, will conduct a Memorial Day service at 1 p.m.

• The Town of Boston Memorial Day Parade will start at Faith United Church, 8651 Boston State Road, and proceed to the Boston Town Park at 1:45 p.m. The ceremony will be at the Cpl. David Finger Memorial Flag Pole behind Town Hall at 2.

email: citydesk@buffnews.com