N. Warren celebrates Memorial Day

Tina Maltbie - identified by Ellsworth as once having the nickname "Poppy Princess" - and her granddaughter Isabella Swartz, placed a poppy wreath at the veterans memorial.

Ellsworth read an essay that Maltbie had written 50 years ago for Memorial Day as a student at Horicon Central School. The essay detailed the patriotic reasons why to wear poppies distributed by veterans groups in exchange for donations - to pay tribute to veterans' service, and to raise money for the aid of disabled and hospitalized former soldiers.

Ellsworth also urged the crowd to remember the "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion of Marines now on duty in Afghanistan, which had lost 12 Marines in only four days.

The ranks of the Horicon Volunteer Fire Department in the ceremonies were thin, as about 12 members of the agency's dive team were busy responding to a drowning in southern Lake George.

Horicon Firefighter Craig Smith, substituting for another firefighter who'd responded to the scene, placed a ceremonial wreath of flowers at the memorial.

As a salute to the departed, a firing squad of Legionnaires shot rifles in the air, prompting children to wince.

Local Eagle Scout Jacob Hill led the Pledge of Allegiance, and the North Warren High School Marching Band played "Grand Old Flag" under the direction of Colin MacInnis, Band Instructor at the school.

North Warren student and local singing sensation Lindsey Meade sang The Star-Spangled Banner and Proud to Be an American, and her strains were answered with robust applause.

Youngsters of Creative Opportunity Day Care Center, three and four years old, sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" after Ellsworth noted how the sport of baseball during wartime served as a beloved distraction to the nation.

Earlier, these 13 youngsters had marched in the parade, alongside a sign that read, "Thanks for Protecting Our Future," surrounded by star-shaped balloons in patriotic colors. For the procession, area Girl Scouts had been grouped on a festive float. Serving as Honor Guard for the parade were Sam Maltbie, Al Mundy, Louis Little, Ken Little, Nancy Bakemeier, and Frank Tucci. The procession featured the firefighters of Horicon, Chestertown and Pottersville. Joining the North Warren Memorial Day parade for the first time in recent history were members of Riverside Fire Co.

Also in the parade was a decorated military Jeep bearing a sign that read: "We Miss Daddy, Our Hero, Staff Sgt. Robert Hill."

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