JAMESTOWN – Preparations for Memorial Day are underway as several local groups are starting to work together to honor veterans for this national holiday.
Melodie Paladino, the secretary of the United Veterans Council of Jamestown, says over 150 volunteers have placed more than 3,800 flags at Lakeview Cemetery ahead of Memorial Day.
“We are honoring our fallen veterans among Lakeview, Holy Cross, Holy Sepulchre and the Bethel cemeteries in Jamestown for their service. They’ve fallen and they’ve given their lives for us to live as freely as we do today,” says Paladino.
Jamestown City Councilwoman at-large Kim Ecklund says that even doing a small amount of flags to pay-it-forward helps to accomplish the worthy task.
“It truly is an honor, I’ve done it for many many years. Myself and actually Councilwoman Carrubba are here. And both of us have done it for many years. And to be honest with you, it’s a couple hours of your time. And honestly, I think it’s one of those tasks that I think is more rewarding to me because I’m so grateful for the service that all our veterans do and have done. And especially this weekend, those that paid the ultimate sacrifice,” says Ecklund.
The Councilwoman is working alongside with the Veterans Council to help organize the return of the Memorial Day parade on Monday, giving the community the opportunity to show their gratitude.
“I can’t help but to think about the families that are truly impacted by that. Not to mention all the veterans who have served and come back with PTSD, trauma, medical issues. All those things, it’s incredible to me,” says Ecklund.
The parade will showcase Humvees, local school bands, a color guard group, a cheerleading group, the Boy Scouts, and of course the veterans themselves. Throwing candy, however, will not be included in the parade, as the day is about education and honor, not sweets.
“Unless you have a personal touch to it, sometimes then you don’t even grasp it,” says Ecklund. “If you don’t have a veteran in your family, or you haven’t celebrated those types of things, it’s different. Or even serving active duty, it’s a whole different light.”
Line up and road closures for the parade will begin at 9. Starting at Baker Park on Fourth Street, and will travel down Prendergast to Sixth, then ends at Lakeview Cemetery.
The Blue Star Mothers will also be hosting a Gold Star Memorial, paying tribute to families of military members killed in the line of duty on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Veterans Park on Third Street in Jamestown.
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