Always remember Fallen Heroes of all wars. Don’t forget the WWII D-day and Normandy Fallen Heroes and Survivors on their 75th Anniversary. Honor all Purple Heart Recipients, living and deceased, and also acknowledge Tioga County as a Purple Heart County.
Give special congratulations to Tioga Post 401 American Legion on its 87th anniversary and the National American Legion on its 100th birthday. Those are some of the most important events on the crowded program for Owego’s Memorial Day 2019.
Community involvement is most important to make this one of the best Memorial Day Remembrances. What’s needed is to assure that names of all Fallen Heroes are remembered locally and in overseas military cemeteries. Who participated in the D-Day and Normandy invasion? Most difficult is for Purple Heart Recipients to step forward and proudly share their Purple Heart stories before it is too late.
Post 401 American Legion members have distinguished themselves with service to the veterans and community ever since their inception. Their story must be and will be told.
But it takes the community to provide all this data.
Parade Marshall John Loftus welcomes all community organizations to march or ride in the Memorial Day parade on four Owego streets. But a transportation officer is needed to line up vehicles for those unable to march including veterans, Purple Heart Recipients, Legionnaires, and others.
On Memorial Day at the Tioga County Veterans Memorial, flags will be flown at half-staff; at 8:15 a.m., a roll call will honor 5,000 deceased Tioga County veterans and will be read by Mary Beth Jones and JoAnn Walter. At 9 a.m. a Memorial Day Mass will take place at St. Patrick’s Church; at 9:15 a.m. the VFW Post 1371 Memorial Service will take place; at 10 a.m. the parade forms on Temple Street; there will be a special Memorial Tribute from 10:15 to 10:30 a.m. along with Fallen Hero stories provided by families. The parade will depart the police station on North Avenue at 10:30 a.m. and travel to North Avenue, down Main Street to Paige Street, and then down Front Street to the Tioga County Veterans Memorial where an 11 a.m. Service of Remembrance will take place.
At the service, Boy Scout Troop 60 will read the honored names of 170 Tioga County Fallen Heroes. An Owego Elementary School Student will remember each Fallen Hero with an American flag carried in the parade.
Following the welcome, the VFW Post 1371 will Post the Colors, and the OFA Parade Band will perform the National Anthem. The Invocation and Keynote Address will be delivered by 31-year priest Father Mitchell “Mitch” Zygadlo, administrator of the Blessed Trinity / St. Patrick’s Parishes and a retired 20-year Chaplain Major of the United States Air Force with deployment to nine bases in the United States, Korea, and Europe.
There will be a Remembrance of D-day and Normandy veterans, Purple Heart Recipients including Tioga County, a salute to America’s finest by the OFA Parade Band, a Memorial Wreath Laying and remembering 17 Fallen Heroes buried in overseas cemeteries, a Roll Call of Tioga County veterans that are deceased since Veterans Day by Tioga County Veterans Service Officers John Holton and Michael Middaugh, a Daughters of the American Revolution report, the Benediction, a Navy Burial at Sea Memorial Wreath Ceremony on the Court Street Bridge, a Rifle Salute by VFW Post 1371 Honor Guard, and Taps by an OFA Marching Band Bugler.
Contributions are still needed to purchase Memorial Wreaths at the Tioga County Veterans Memorial for the WWI, WWII, Tioga County, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq / Afghanistan and Civil War Memorials.
This is a developing story. Future reports will focus on “Flags In” – the placement of American flags on the gravestones of veterans.
For more information, contact Glenn A. Warner Post 1371 Veterans of Foreign Wars Coordinator Jim Raftis by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.