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Port Jervis remembers ultimate sacrifices on Memorial Day 2022, and always!

Port Jervis’ Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, as always, produced a day of Small Town America living and pride at its best!

Uniformed veterans, red, white and blue adorned floats and vehicles, the high school and community bands, majorettes, choir, children and families comprised from the youngest and oldest of ages, community groups, and patriotism – so strong and true!

This comprised the parade down Main Street to historic Orange Square where music, tributes, remembrance, and honor filled the air and flags waved between the square. Those that filled the square to pay tribute were surrounded by monuments to the bravery of soldiers who have laid down their lives for their (our) city, state, and nation, over centuries.

A poem written by an unnamed local young lady and read by Port’s mayor, a song written and sung from the podium by a lifelong local woman, prayers offered by a veteran post chaplain, and a call to remember not just those we know and are aware of, but all who sacrificed and lost their lives in service and war.

Perhaps the most timely words, given recent tragedies in America, were shared by VFW Commander Hank Dunn before Port’s annual Memorial Ceremony began.

“Before we get started with our Memorial Day Service, I am, like everyone, standing here and I am horrified, I am saddened, by what happened in Texas recently,” Dunn said, choking up as he shared painful thoughts – reflections. “There is no reason for this. This is not what we veterans fought for.”

He noted that several veterans were among those gathered who continue to battle post-traumatic stress disorder, some for a long time.

“Think about what these children saw and witnessed and what they will probably battle for the rest of their lives. So please join me for the school district, the community, the victims, and the families in a moment of silence for these Texans.”

The mournful sound of taps, played from each side of Veterans/Orange Square, as veterans, hands raised in salute, eyes closed, recalled their own memories. Others, hands over their heart, paid tribute and honor – gratitude, and a pledge to always remember. A Memorial Day call to each of us.

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