I am a member of Morris J. Edwards Post 168 American Legion in St. Johnsville.
I am writing this letter to alert you to what might be one of the least-known human-interest stories of the Mohawk Valley, and one which I and fellow Legionnaires feel is newsworthy.
Every Memorial Day, St. Johnsville, as do many other localities, conducts a parade and ceremonies to honor our veterans who gave their lives on our country's behalf.
What makes this event special is the turnout of people to pay honor. Last year, 67 veterans participated in the parade. Most of them were in their service uniforms. More than 40 marched in ranks, with the less-able transported on renovated Army trucks. What other community of approximately 1,600 people can boast such a turnout of veterans? Most larger communities cannot, and we expect even greater numbers this year.
Included in the parade are two school bands, other organizations, floats, fire trucks and many military vehicles, including a 155mm "Long Tom" cannon pulled by its prime mover and a Vietnam gun truck.
Main Street is lined with people who follow the parade to Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park to observe the impressive ceremony. The band, the firefighters and veterans stand in ranks as appropriate words of honor are spoken and appropriate honors rendered. Hundreds are in attendance. Where else in the valley do such numbers turn out?
A primary speaker this year is former assemblyman and candidate for the state Senate, George Amedore.
The parade starts at 9 a.m. Monday and ceremonies follow; open house is in Post 168 Legion rooms.
For more information, call Tim Rice, parade organizer, at 568-2316.