Yesterday approximately a dozen members of Braman Post 1229, led by Commander Richard Gough, visited five locations in Penfield to recognize those who have died in active U.S. military service for our country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. They visited Veterans Memorial Park and Smith, Pioneer, St. Joseph’s and Oakwood cemeteries. This idea was developed after we had to cancel our traditional “Celebration of Remembrance” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was honored to join the members of Post 1229 to pay tribute to those in our community and across this great country who made the ultimate price by giving their lives for our freedom. It was very important for veterans in our community to recognize their brothers and sisters who served so proudly and paid the price by losing their life for all of us! While not the norm at past annual events, all participants respected our current norm by wearing masks and keeping properly physically distanced.
Braman Post 1229 will be reviewing this new ceremony of cemetery visits to consider adding it to the holiday’s schedule in the future. They may look at May 30 for the cemetery visits to precede or follow the traditional “Celebration of Remembrance” that is held on the last Monday in May.
By way of a bit of history, at the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities. It was not until after World War I that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
On behalf of the entire community of Penfield, I thank Braman Post 1229 for making the recognition of those who lost their lives a priority during these unprecedented times. Our freedom was not free, many paid the ultimate price. Let us never forget and always remember all of those brave men and women.
If you missed the Town’s Memorial Day video tribute yesterday you can view it online from the homepage at www.penfield.org.
Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov.
Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,
Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain