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Armed Forces Week set to begin May 3 at Canalside

Opening ceremonies for the 55th Western New York Armed Forces Week are set for 12:45 p.m. May 3 at Canalside, adjacent to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.

At the ceremony, special attention will be focused on Gold Star mothers from the eight counties of Western New York.

Author Linda Jenkin Costanzo, who wrote the book “Our Sons, Our Heroes,” which highlights the stories of Gold Star mothers who lost their sons during the Vietnam War, will be the keynote speaker.

Also, Medal of Honor recipient Gary B. Beikirch, a Vietnam veteran from Rochester, will be the guest speaker at a May 7 luncheon in the Connecticut Street Armory.

A combat medic, Beikirch was awarded the highest combat medal for exposing himself to intense fire in order to rescue and treat wounded soldiers and for continuing to provide that medical care despite his own serious wounds during a battle at Dak Seang Camp.

The week’s events will close on the evening of May 9 in the Connecticut Street Armory with an Awards Ceremony Ball to honor current active members of the Armed Forces for their achievements during the past year.

Additional information is available at the website