Reflection and celebration both a part of Memorial Day remembrance

Goshen. The Village’s tribute included an honor guard service, a parade and a reading of the names of all residents killed during combat.

| 06 Jun 2023 | 03:11

Memorial Day services held Monday, May 29, at the Everett Memorial, in the Village of Goshen.

“On Memorial Day we honor our service members, remember their sacrifices, their courage, and their dedication – and we say thank you,” Village of Goshen Mayor Molly O’Donnell said. “We stand together today among patriots and the family and friends of those who have bravely served with courage, pride, dedication to duty and integrity. We say thank you.”

Jim Heslop, Commander of the American Legion, Goshen Post 377, was the event emcee.

At 7 a.m., Memorial Honor Guard services began at St. John’s Cemetery and proceeded with five more stops: at St. James Columbarium, Slate Hill Cemetery, Orange County Veterans Cemetery, the Minisink Monument, and the Orange Blossoms Monument.

The spirited parade down Main Street included color guards from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Foreign Wars Goshen Post #1708, American Legion Goshen Post 377, as well as the Village of Goshen Police Department, the GOVAC, Little League baseball teams, scout troops, the Goshen High School Band, Goshen Rotary and fire engines. A post parade ceremony was also held.

“Memorial Day gives us a chance to reflect on countless Americans who served and loss their lives in service of our country,” Town of Goshen Supervisor Joe Betro said. “While we enjoy changing weather and the start of summer, I ask that we pay a moment of solemn reflection to those who gave their lives on American and foreign soil so we may enjoy our American way of life.”

Ken and Doris Obremski were the parade Grand Marshalls. In his remarks, Ken Obremski, who was captain in the United States Air Force, mentioned Abraham Lincoln, who once said that such recognition is “altogether fitting and proper.”

“In similar way, as we gather here today to honor those who gave their lives for us. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should so this,” he said.

Doris Obremski recalled the “sorrowful loss of her son-in-law, Lt. Louis Allen, who at age 34 was killed in Tikrit, Iraq in 2005.” A husband, father, National Guardsman, science teacher at Burke High School and George Baker High School in Tuxedo, his death was a huge loss to his family and to the community.

Beginning with the aftermath of the Civil War, when mourners who were struggling with grief honored their war dead by decorating graves with flowers and vigilant lamps, the Memorial Day — once called Decoration Day — tradition began, Ray Quattrinii, Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Goshen Post 1708 said.

“The quest for peace and solace was realized in a phrase of solemn vow, ‘We shall never forget. You will always be remembered and to this day, America has not forgotten her pledge,” Quattrinii said. “The decree to honor her war dead has become sacred within her society as Memorial Day has become America’s most revered national holiday—not just a holiday, but a day that states its essence of a holy day in its meaning, a somber reflection whereby every American has a obligation to affirm gratitude and allegiance.”

The ceremony included a reading of the names of all Goshen residents killed during combat and the singing of the National Anthem. It concluded with firing a three-gun salute using 1903 rifles that American soldiers used in World War I and World War II, a mournful playing of taps, and “Amazing Grace” played on bagpipes by Keith Roddey.