Through the high clouds, the sun shone on hundreds of Jamestown residents who lined the streets Monday for the annual Memorial Day parade.
Residents ranging in age from infant to elderly watched as the Jamestown High School Marching Band, Girl and Boy Scouts and military personnel rolled by in a procession that stretched several city blocks. The parade ended at Lakeview Cemetery on the city's north side.
Veterans of several wars stood at attention among the many grave markers that blanket an area known as The Circle. Wind blew through the tall trees that formed a thick canopy overhead.
State Sen. Patricia McGee, R-Franklinville, was thrilled with the crowd that gathered to honor those who gave their lives in fights for freedom.
"We've been in many conflicts and wars in the past, and these people gave the supreme sacrifice. They didn't go to war to die or be a hero; they went to war to protect and provide the freedoms we experience today," she said.
Mayor Sam Teresi -- whose father, Chautauqua County Legislator Anthony Teresi, is a veteran -- recognized the hundreds of volunteers who put together the parade and the ceremony. Teresi quoted former President John F. Kennedy: "There is no nobler pursuit, than to serve your fellow man or woman."
"We gather here, to honor those who have served before us, so that we could be standing here today in peace and in freedom. I'd also like to honor those that are serving us today, around the world. In their service, they honor us."
The service ended with a reading of the Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address," a 21 gun salute, and a fly-by of a military jet, which took off from nearby Chautauqua County Airport.