He stood a few feet from the Vietnam Memorial at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Servicemen's Park Sunday, pointing to the names of friends.
"I know several people here," Joseph Kreuzer of Blasdell said quietly.
Flags and flowers lined the bottom of the memorial.
Kreuzer, his wife, Mary, and their friends Dave and Gail Ross, also of Blasdell, came down to the waterfront Sunday evening to visit the Vietnam and Korean memorials.
"I stop to think about how much they lost. It all ended too soon for them," Kreuzer said. "I hope they got the reward they deserve."
For Kreuzer, a member of the Harvey D. Morin Post 2940, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Matthew Glab Post 1477, American Legion, and Ross, a member of the Glab Post, Memorial Day weekend is not the traditional start of summer. It's a time to remember their fallen comrades and their sacrifice for their country.
Both men worked to help erect the Vietnam and Korean memorials. Sunday they examined the Korean memorial, including its broken gun barrel, apparently snapped off by vandals. Their weekend is busy: the Morin Post had a parade and ceremony Sunday; the Glab Post is conducting an observance today.
But Sunday, there was time for a leisurely stroll to the monuments and down to the Hatch for an ice cream cone, like hundreds of others at the waterfront Sunday.
Boaters, picnickers and outdoors enthusiasts took advantage of Sunday's splendid conditions. The bright, sunny weather, reaching a high of 73 at 4:30 p.m., took a turn for the worse overnight.
And besides possibly spoiling outdoor activities on this holiday, it may be ruining Buffalo's chance to go down in the record books as the third driest May since weather statistics have been recorded.
"It does look like we have a fairly good chance for rain," said National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Sage.
Through Sunday night, sixty-three hundredths of an inch of rain had fallen in Buffalo this month. The driest May was in 1877, when fifty-three hundredths of an inch fell. The third driest is May 1936, when ninety-two hundredths of an inch fell.
"If we can keep it under twenty-nine hundredths, then we would be the third driest ever," Sage said, adding: "I suppose everybody would be happy if Memorial Day was nice."
But brisk winds with showers and a few thunderstorms are expected today, according to the weather service. The high will be in the mid-60s. It will be much cooler Tuesday, with highs in the 50s and the possibility of a stray shower.
Bill Maloney of West Seneca took his two children, Sibhan, 3, and Ryan, 6, and nephew, Brenton Higgins, 6, to the Buffalo Bisons game. But in the later innings, the children got restless and it was time to walk to the waterfront to visit their grandmother, Mary Maloney of Marine Drive Apartments, and walk along the Buffalo River.
"Gee, it's a beautiful day, isn't it?" Maloney said, keeping an eye on the youngsters.
Oris and Carmen Urriola were among a group of 10 friends and relatives from West Haven, Conn., who took advantage of the long weekend to visit Niagara Falls. Sunday, they drove to Buffalo, to see water -- Lake Erie and the Buffalo River -- in a quieter state.
"We were looking at the tower and we saw the boats," Oris Urriola said.
"We saw the Vietnam Memorial," added Carmen Urriola.
Delaware Park teemed with activity Sunday. Kim Fox, riding her bicycle in the park, said: "It was a nice weekend to be with family and friends."
"It's the first holiday that you can be assured of some decent weather," added Beverly Hawkes of Rochester, who was visiting family and friends in Buffalo.
"The number of roller blades and bikes is tremendous," said Michael Messore, Erie County Park ranger at Isle View Park in the Town of Tonawanda.
The boat launch was packed solid for three hours, he said, adding he had been planning on a busy day today until he heard the forecast.
"It still won't stop most people," he said.
News Staff Reporter Tonya Moss contributed to this story.