continued “We acknowledge the lives of individuals who demonstrated such steadfast dedication to family, community, state and country,” he said.
Crowd breaks into song
A trio from Word of Life — Kristopher Stout, Micah Melville and Matt Melville — sang patriotic songs, along with Robin Jewell and Bert Britt. Their songs, blending patriotism and a spiritual message, prompted tears as well as cheers from the crowd, which at times sang along with such popular anthems as “Proud to be an American.”
The ceremony concluded with a dramatic fly-over by two vintage warplanes. John Alexander of Warrensburg piloted a PT-23 Fairchild, and Don Latterell of Queensbury was behind the throttle of a PT-17 Stearman biplane. They criss-crossed the skies overhead — not far above the cheering crowd.
Hesse offered his thoughts as the ceremony ended.
“This hits home for me,” he said, noting he was from a small town. “This fantastic community has done a beautiful job.”