Bikers and citizens join to honor soldiers killed in combat

"Welcome to Warrensburg and have a good time," Geraghty said to the motorcyclists.

The ceremony concluded with a the local veterans' color guard firing a 21-gun salute, and then taps was sounded, with two vintage World War I planes conducting a dual fly-over in formation -the second pass not far above the treetops - to the crowd's delight.

Local Funeral Director John Alexander was piloting one of the vintage planes, and his friend Don Latterell of North Creek was behind the throttle of the other one.

Alexander's son David had been on the ground, radioing the two pilots to synchronize the fly-by with the playing of taps.

A benediction was offered by Keith Turcotte of Blood-Bought Motorcycle Ministries, hailing from Lakeland Fla.

The ceremony was also boosted by a convoy of military vehicles representing the New York-Penn Military Vehicles Collectors Club. This presentation was arranged by Don Bagwell of Warrensburgbikeweek.com, co-organizer of the ceremony.

Bagwell, on behalf of various sponsoring local businesses, held a reception following the memorial ceremony for the bikers, many of them from out-of-town.

Held on the lawn of the Griffin House Bed & Breakfast, the reception featured a performance of rock 'n roll by the Chained Lightning Band.

After the proceedings, Peluso said he and Bagwell have plans on boosting the attendance substantially in future years, and adding a procession of motorcyclists down Main Street to the park to launch the ceremony.

"We really hope the memorial event grows from here," Peluso said. "We want to promote it in conjunction with Warrensburg Bike Week, because local residents really accept the bikers that attend, and they in turn have respect for the town," Peluso said.

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