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With Memorial Day a week away, I would like to report that the Village staff recently met with some of our active local veterans to discuss the Memorial Day Ceremony and if any improvements could be made. It was very apparent that we all love the traditions of the day and both parts of the ceremony: the first part held at the War Monuments on Main Street and the second part with a speaker at Memorial Park. The only area that we thought could be improved was the parade bridging the two ceremonies. As you may know, the Village has held a parade on Memorial Day for many years, dating as far back as 1932. In recent years, however, participation levels have declined resulting in a somewhat sparse group of marchers. As a result of those discussions and the reality of the declining numbers, we are going to adjust the parade portion of the ceremony while keeping everything else unchanged. The parade will be replaced with an informal “march” on the Aqueduct rather than the parade on Broadway.
As in the past, we will begin our ceremony at the newly renovated Veterans Memorial Plaza near the Main Street School. We will be joined by the Tarrytown Vets marching band and others as we conduct our ceremonies. When complete, I will invite you to take a short stroll down the Aqueduct to Memorial Park where we will hear from our guest speaker. It is my hope that this small change will increase participation in the second half of the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremonies in Memorial Park, we will serve light refreshments, another enticement to join us.
I realize that over the years, Memorial Day has evolved in popular culture from a solemn day of remembrance to a joyful unofficial kickoff of summer. Regardless, I ask you to remember the true meaning of the day and request you consider taking an hour out of your holiday weekend to join my colleagues and me as we honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation. The ceremonies will be held rain or shine on Monday, May 27, 2019 and will begin at 10:45 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Plaza on Main Street, concluding by noon at Memorial Park.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Brian C. Smith, Mayor