Chestertown At a lectern standing on the local American Legion driveway, post Commander Joanne Ellsworth gazed over the large crowd gathered on the lawn of the town Municipal Center for the annual Memorial Day ceremonies in northern Warren County.
“We honor the memory of those who gave their lives in service to their country and are gone to their eternal rest,” she said. “May today’s ceremonies deepen our reverence for our fallen — and may we resolve by work as well as deed to emphasize the privilege and duty of patriotism.”
Legionnaire Ken Little, assisted by the local Boy Scouts, then lowered the American flag of the adjacent Legion Post to half-staff.
Flanking the flagstaff were 1998 North Warren graduate Michele Dygert — an Electrician in the U.S. Navy — and Army Reservist Daniel Searles of Chestertown.
The crowd was facing north this year, as the Municipal Center’s flagpole and entranceway is under construction, awaiting renovation and placement of eight granite memorials honoring local veterans of wars since the nation’s founding. The project is expected to be complete in July.
The North Warren High School Marching Band, under the direction of Colin MacInnis, played several patriotic selections.
North Warren student Christiaan Van Nispen then read a patriotic poem.
Local Eagle Scout Jacob Hill led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Later, Hill was presented with a bronze award for his work in constructing a new sign for the local legion Post and renovating their landscaping.
The pre-school children of Creative Opportunity Day Care Center sang God Bless America and America the Beautiful.
Fluttering in gentle breezes was a giant American flag, draped from the top of an aerial bucket of the Pottersville Fire Department’s tower truck.
Ellsworth told the crowd why the Chestertown, Horicon and Pottersville fire departments were chosen as grand marshals for the 2012 Memorial Day parade. The neighboring Riverside Fire Co. also participated in the ceremonies.