UTICA — South Washington Street in Utica was closed for a brief period Monday morning, but for a very important reason. The Utica American Legion Post 92 was conducting its annual Memorial Day service to honor the ones who have gone before us. Taking part in the ceremony were local active duty service members and the Utica Boy Scout Troop 228.
Post Commander Linda Wolf opened the ceremony by leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Star Spangled Banner, played by the Utica High School marching band. The invocation was given by Ladies Auxiliary Chaplain Nordie Mick.
“We have gathered here to pay tribute to those who have made the supreme sacrifice for the benefit of all free men everywhere,” said Mick. “In God we trust, and may the faith of our fathers protect and sustain our people.”
Patriotic spirit was stirred in all as the high school band played a medley of patriotic tunes.
“This day is sacred with the almost invisible presence of those who have gone before us,” said Wolf, in addressing those had gathered for the ceremony. “We honor the memory of those who gave their lives in the service of our country and have gone to their eternal rest. May the ceremonies of today reach out in our reverence to our departed comrades. Let us renew our fight of loyalty to our country and its flag. Let us resolve by word and deed to emphasize the privilege and duty of patriotism.”
Wolf announced that the service was being dedicated to fellow Legionnaires who passed on in the previous year. These included Otto Teele, Robert Stricker, Robert Adams, David Hite, Leroy Keeran and Hub McVay.
A salute to the fallen comrades followed with a rifle salute and “Taps” played by trumpeters Andrew Collins and Ashton Cannon.
Mick ended the ceremony with a closing prayer, and lunch followed in the Legion home provided by members of the American Legion and Auxiliary.