OLEAN — The tradition of pausing at the end of May to reflect on those who gave their lives defending the nation turns 150 this year, and the order creating Decoration Day will again be an integral part of Olean’s Memorial Day services.
The observance begins at 10 a.m. Monday with a parade from West Sullivan Street down Union Street. Several city officials and departments, service groups, soldiers, veterans and scouting organizations are expected to participate in the parade. Officers of the Day are Navy veterans Conrad Tincher and Bill Burlingame. The master of ceremonies is former Mayor William Quinlan.
The parade will proceed down to South Union Street to Veterans Memorial Bridge, where a wreath will be cast into the Allegheny River by Tincher to honor all soldiers who died at sea. A firing squad led by Army veteran Bob Redmond will fire a 21-gun salute to honor deceased veterans before Taps is performed.
The procession will continue to the Veterans Field of Honor at Mount View Cemetery for a memorial ceremony. Gen. John A. Logan’s 1868 order establishing Decoration Day to honor those killed in the Civil War, will be recited by Maj. Lance Newton.
“Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude — the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan,” the order states.
Logan, who fought at the Battle of Bull Run before resigning his seat in the House of Representatives, was the second commander-in-chief of the the Grand Army of the Republic veterans organization.
Army Master Sgt. Chad Chapman is set to serve as keynote speaker, with Mayor Bill Aiello also set to give remarks.
After a benediction by retired Army Sgt. William Hilliard, the American flag will be raised on the hill overlooking the field, a second 21-gun salute will be fired and Taps will be played. A wreath will also be laid at the veterans memorial at the southern end of the South Union Street bridge.
Other celebrations across Cattaraugus and Allegany counties include:
• ALLEGANY — The Memorial Day parade is scheduled to line up at 8:30 a.m. at the North First Street parking lot of the Allegany Engine Company Robert H. Livingston Community Center. All children are encouraged to decorate their bicycles and join the event.
The parade will begin at 9 a.m. at the intersection of North First and West Main streets. The parade will be followed by a memorial service conducted by the Allegany American Legion at the Veterans’ Memorial located next to the Town Hall building on West Main Street. A luncheon, sponsored by the Allegany American Legion and the Allegany Engine Company, will follow the ceremony at the Legion Post on Route 417. All are welcome.
• CATTARAUGUS — A Memorial Day parade will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday down South Street, with the lineup scheduled to take place at noon.
A ceremony is scheduled to follow at Liberty Park Cemetery.
• ELLICOTTVILLE — The honor guard and other civic organizations will parade down Washington Street beginning at 10:45 a.m. Monday.
Immediately following, there will be a ceremony in front of the town and village hall at the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets. Mayor John Burrell is expected to speak, the honor guard will fire a 21-gun salute and the Ellicottville Central School band will perform patriotic music.
• GOWANDA — The parade in the village will be held Monday beginning at the Gowanda American Legion at 10 a.m. and concluding at St. John’s Park, where a ceremony will follow.
The Legion will also host a free breakfast for veterans from 7 to 9 a.m., which is also when the lineup will take place for the 19th annual Ride to Remember.
A rider meeting will be held at 9 a.m. along with a moment of remembrance. Kickstands up at 9:15 a.m.; the ride starts at the Gowanda American Legion Post and will travel through Collins to Springville and up Route 240 to Sprague Brook Park in Glenwood, where a ceremony will be held at 11 a.m.
• LIMESTONE — A Memorial Day ceremony, conducted by the Limestone American Legion, will be held at 10 a.m. in front of the Carrollton Municipal Building on Main Street. The Patriots motorcycle club will ride to the event in honor of all veterans.
• LITTLE VALLEY — The village will host a parade and service beginning at 10 a.m. Monday. The public is invited to the Legion after the events for hot dogs, salad and chips.
Prior to the village’s parade, Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (C.A.M.P.) will hold a brief Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building, located at the corner of Court and Seventh streets in the village of Little Valley.
• PORTVILLE — The annual Memorial Day parade is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., starting at Portville Central School and moving along Main Street to Chestnut Hill Cemetery, where ceremonies will take place to honor veterans. The Portville American Legion Post 814 will also host a chicken barbecue, which starts at noon at a cost of $10 per meal. The Portville Baptist Church will offer free hot dogs during the parade.
• RANDOLPH — Randolph will hold its Memorial Day parade and ceremonies in East Randolph on Monday. Lineup for the parade begins at 9 a.m. at the former Moose Lodge, in East Randolph, from where the parade will begin at 10 a.m. Ceremonies will be held afterward at the East Randolph Cemetery.
• SALAMANCA — The annual Memorial Day parade in Salamanca will set off at 10 a.m. from the Absolut Care nursing home parking lot at 451 Broad St. down Broad Street to Veterans Memorial Park. Ceremonies will be held after the parade at the Vets Park memorial.
• ANGELICA — The Memorial Day parade is set to start at 9 a.m., A service will be held in Veteran’s Circle by the Angelica Town Hall.
• BELFAST — Robert W. Howden American Legion Post 1504 will oversee an open house at 10 a.m., and a parade which begins at 11 a.m. The parade will start on South Street and continue to Main Street before ending in town park. The Belfast Central School band will play in the park prior to a memorial service.
• BELMONT — A parade, run by the American Legion, will begin around 11 a.m. It will start at the fire hall on Schuyler Street, and continue to the Catholic Cemetery on Trianna Street for a ceremony. The parade will then head to Park Circle for a second ceremony.
• BOLIVAR — The Memorial Day parade is set to begin at 9 a.m. at Bolivar-Richburg Central School and go to Maple Lawn Cemetery for a ceremony.
• CUBA — This year’s Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m., starting at the Cuba Elementary School. Anyone interested in participating in the parade is welcome with floats, marchers, bicycles, youth groups or bands. The parade will end at Genesee Park, where the veterans organizations will hold the annual Memorial Day ceremony. Following the event, the community is invited to the Cuba VFW Post 2721 on Route 305 for a picnic of hot dogs and hamburgers.
• FRIENDSHIP — The annual parade will start at 10 a.m., visiting all seven cemeteries.
• RICHBURG — The parade, to include firemen and members of the American Legion, will begin at 10:45 a.m. It will start at the fire department and go down State Route 275 to the Richburg-Wirt Cemetery. Hot dogs and coffee will be served at the fire department afterwards.
• SCIO — A Memorial Day ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church. The parade will start at 10 a.m. in front of Scio Central School, where there will be a ceremony at a memorial stone. The parade will go down Main Street to the Scio Memorial Library where a ceremony will be conducted. It will then proceed to Fairlawn Cemetery for another ceremony.
• WELLSVILLE — The Memorial Day parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. down Main from Pearl Street. A ceremony will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery and Sacred Heart Cemetery.
Prior to the parade, the American Legion of Veterans of Foreign Wars Parade Committee will present its honor ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park at 10 a.m.