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April 13, 2010 - 12:07am

Council stands behind keeping the Memorial Day Parade going

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, Memorial Day Parade.

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"We will have a parade," City Council President Marianne Clattenburg said tonight after a member of the VFW Auxiliary asked that the council step forward and ensure that the annual Memorial Day Parade is not canceled this year.

Last month, the veterans group that had been organizing it said putting on the annual parade had become just too much.

Barbara Lewis spoke for the Auxiliary and said the parade is just too important to let go.

"It’s so gratifying when you see these proud faces, no longer able to march, coming out of the nursing homes, and the UPS volunteers pushing those wheelchairs, it just breaks your heart. I mean, what can you say? Doen’t that say it all?" Lewis said.

After she spoke, Clattenburg said, "With all of us working together, we can have a parade."

She said the entire council would help make it happen.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian has already started working on organization efforts and said she will be at City Hall on May 5 getting all of the parade participants to sign "hold harmless" agreements, which is necessary for them to participate in a parade.

She said recruiters for the major military branches have committed to participating in the parade.

Councilman Frank Ferrando said as important as the Memorial Day Parade is, the city should spearhead the organization efforts from now on, since volunteers sometimes move, die or move on.

"I just think that’s the heart and soul of who we all are," Ferrando said. "It’s why we’re all here and why we’re able to talk like this. We ought to do it. We ought to make sure it happens. We ought to make sure it’s a big event."

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