Tri-Lakes to host Memorial Day parades, ceremonies
Memorial Day ceremonies, parades and events are planned across the Tri-Lakes for this coming weekend and on Memorial Day itself — Monday, May 29.
Memorial Day, once known as Decoration Day, began in 1868 as a tradition of decorating and preserving the graves of soldiers who died while fighting in the Civil War. In 1968, Memorial Day became a nationally-recognized holiday honoring all of those who have lost their lives in U.S. military service.
Lake Placid’s annual Memorial Day parade will return on Monday after a three-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Main Street reconstruction project.
American Legion Post 326 Commander Doug Hoffman said on Tuesday that he’s “excited” to see the tradition resume. The post traditionally holds parades on Main Street from Brewster Park to the Legion home on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, featuring the high school marching band, Lake Placid firefighters and local organizations such as the Boy Scouts.
“I think it would be great for us and great for the village,” he said.
The last time the Memorial Day parade was held was in 2019; the pandemic forced its cancellation a year later and Main Street was being reconstructed in 2021 and 2022. The annual Veterans Day parade returned last November after been cancelled for two years.
The post-parade Memorial Day luncheon at the American Legion had also been canceled due to COVID but will return this year.
Post 326 members will lower and raise American flags at several locations to honor local veterans who have passed on “and who had honorably, unselfishly served and sacrificed for our country so we may enjoy our freedoms as Americans,” Hoffman said in a press release.
Six U.S. flags that have been flying since Veterans Day at four locations around Lake Placid will be lowered and replaced by six new flags, to be flown until Nov. 11. Another flag at the North Elba Cemetery is also maintained by the American Legion Post 326.
The ceremonies around town will be held as follows: 9:30 a.m., World War I memorial at the Adirondack Community Church, a flag lowered for Gary Sheffield and raised for William Hardy; 9:50 a.m., Elderwood of Uihlein at Lake Placid, a flag lowered for Harry LaBrake and raised for Gary Messack; 10:10 a.m., Lake Placid Health and Medical Fitness Center, a flag lowered for Bart Patnode and raised for Robert Thompson; 10:25 a.m., North Elba Cemetery, an old flag retired and a new one raised in honor of all veterans.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Brewster Park, the corner of Saranac Avenue and Main Street, and will continue to the Legion home at the corner of Main and School streets. During the following ceremony, flags will be lowered for Forrest Walton, Ernest Hough and Andrew Barney and raised for Shirley Lamoy, Thomas Hadjis and Raymond McIntyre. Retired flags will be presented to the families in attendance.
Members of the American Legion Post 326 Auxiliary will place a wreath at the Legion’s Memorial Monument in honor of all veterans and will be host a luncheon afterward.
Saranac Lake will host a Memorial Day parade beginning at 10:45 a.m. Monday at the Saranac Lake Veteran’s Association of Broadway and Hyde Mobile gas station on Broadway. Set up for the parade begins at 10 a.m. A ceremony at Riverside Park will follow the parade at 11 a.m.
The Marine Corps League will host a Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans’ Memorial Park on Park Street in Tupper Lake. Town Supervisor Rick Dattola will be the guest speaker, and the ceremony will feature performances from the Tupper Lake Middle-High School band and Tupper Lake Honor Guard.
The Memorial Day ceremony in the town of Keene begins at 10 a.m. Monday at the veterans memorial site on Norton Cemetery Road, according to American Legion Marcy Post 1312 Commander Tom Both.
The ceremony will include an honor guard, rifle squad, patriotic music and the playing of “Echo Taps.” Also, the names of all the Keene residents who served in the military since the Revolutionary War will be read during the ceremony.
The Long Lake American Legion Post 650 will host the Long Lake Memorial Day Parade and the Hamilton County Memorial Day Parade. The American Legion’s ceremony at the Long Lake Bridge will start at 11:30 a.m. The town parade will follow at noon, beginning at the Long Lake Town Hall. The Hamilton Country parade begins at 2:15 p.m. at the Mt. Sabattis Recreation Area. The guest speaker for both ceremonies is Colonel Donald M. Boone.
In the case of rain, the ceremonies will be moved to the town hall.
Civil War veteran
A local Civil War veteran will be remembered at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 27 at the North Elba Cemetery on Old Military Road.
The John Brown Farm State Historic Site, with the Volunteers at Fort Tribute, and in cooperation of the Sons of Union Veterans, the town of North Elba and independent scholar Amy Godine, will remember North Elba resident William Appo Jr., who sacrificed his life in the Civil War.
Appo was the son of composer and musician William Appo Sr., who joined the local Black community of Timbuctoo and was a good friend to abolitionist John Brown. His son passed as a white soldier with the 30th New York regiment during the Civil War. Appo was killed in action at the second battle of Bull Run and buried in a mass grave on the battlefield. His father placed a small stone in his memory at the family plot at the North Elba Cemetery.
The John Brown Farm Historic Site with the help of William Stump, Commander of the Augustus van Horne Ellis Camp 124 of the Sons of Union Veterans, has applied for an official headstone from the Veterans Administration.
After a ceremonial wreath laying at the Appo family plot grave, the public is invited to the lower barn at the John Brown farm. Godine will discuss other Black Adirondackers who fought in white regiments for the Union; the Appos and their Adirondack world; and why this commemorative marker for Appo is only going up now. Godine is the curator of the “Dreaming of Timbuctoo” exhibit in the farm’s upper barn, produced by John Brown Lives! Her history, “The Black Woods: Racial Justice on the Adirondack Frontier,” will be released by Cornell University in November.
Carry the Load
Lake Placid’s Carry the Load event returns this weekend for the first time since 2019. What started out as a walk around Mirror Lake has expanded to include three forms of outdoor activity. People “carrying the load” for men and women who have died serving their country are encouraged to walk, paddle or bike around the lake.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 28, according to organizer Stuart Hemsley, who launched Lake Placid’s version of Carry the Load in 2015. The “rally” steps off at 11 a.m. at Mid’s Park on Main Street, where Annie in the Water will give a free concert at 1 p.m.
“The true meaning of Memorial Day connects America to the sacrifices of our military, law enforcement, firefighters, rescue personnel, medical and first responders,” Hemsley wrote on his social media.
Carry the Load is a month-long nationwide campaign every May, featuring special events and rallies across the U.S., designed to raise awareness about the true meaning of Memorial Day “and provide active ways to connect Americans to the sacrifices made by our military, veterans, first responders and their families.” There are also five multi-state relay trips: New England, East Coast, West Coast, Midwest and Mountain States.
Learn more at www.carrytheload.org.
Enterprise reporter Lauren Yates contributed to this report.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the Lake Placid American Legion Post 326 Auxiliary’s former name, with “Ladies Auxiliary” in it. At the American Legion Auxiliary’s National Convention in August 2019, members updated the their Constitution and Bylaws, changing “wife” to “spouse,” meaning that men can now join the American Legion Auxiliary. The Enterprise regrets the error.