Memorial Day celebrated with veterans parade

Taps played at the Veteran’s Memorial in Owego, N.Y. by retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant and 1983 OFA graduate Steven Palinosky.

On Monday, May 25, a car parade and online Remembrance Service, as well as the Roll Call of Names made Memorial Day look at bit different this year. With the pandemic continuing, and protocols set throughout the state for social distancing, especially among the veteran population, it was important to find a way to honor veterans and recognize those that made the supreme sacrifice, and to do it safely.

Owego’s Memorial Day Veterans Parade

This year’s ceremony was broadcast on WEBO this year; the roll call was performed earlier in the morning Live on Facebook. For the roll call, Mary Beth Jones and JoAnn R. Walter read 5,000 deceased veteran names. 

At 10 a.m., on WEBO, Jim Raftis Sr. Jim Raftis Sr. honored Tioga County’s 165 Fallen Heroes. Gold Star Mother, Barbara Bilbrey, participated in the broadcast with Raftis, reflecting on the loss of her son Charlie, who was killed in the line of duty 11 years ago in Iraq.  

There was also a veterans “car” parade that welcomed resident participation. You can view more of those photos at

Owego’s Memorial Day Veterans Parade

The parade was organized in partnership with American Legion Post #401, Veterans of Foreign War Post #1371, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #480, Veterans of Modern Warfare Chapter #9, 137th New York Volunteers Civil War Re-enactors, the Owego Fire Department, Owego Hose Teams, the Owego Police Department, Village of Owego, Town of Owego, and Tioga County. 

The American Legion’s annual chicken BBQ took place following the parade and service. 

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