Honoring the fallen

People gathered across the Adirondacks to show their respect and gratitude for fallen American soldiers on Memorial Day.

In Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, parades were held. Locals lined up along each village’s Main Street Monday morning, some waving American flags and others clapping for the veterans as they walked past. A ceremony was held in Tupper Lake at the veterans memorial on Park Street.

In Saranac Lake the parade started at 10:45 a.m. at Hotel Saranac and ended at the Harrietstown Town Hall. A large crowd filled the building for a Memorial Day service. Later, a wreath was placed at the Veteran’s Monument in Riverside Park.

Lake Placid’s parade was led by American Legion Post 326. They were followed by local Girl Scouts and the Lake Placid Middle/High School marching band. Fire trucks brought up the rear.

A group of around 75 to 100 local people gathered around the Legion’s hall for a ceremony at 11 a.m. led by Post Commander Zay Curtis. Later at 1 p.m., members from the audience joined Legion members in placing flags near veterans’ graves at St. Agnes Cemetery, North Elba Cemetery and Lake Placid Synagogue Cemetery.

Tupper Lake’s services began at 11 a.m. Col. Eric Olsen of Saranac Lake was the guest speaker at the celebration. Olsen recently retired as head chaplain of the New York Army National Guard and now directs Homeward Bound Adirondacks, a group trying to establish veteran respite and reintegration programs here. American Legion Post 220 Commander Mark Moeller was the master of ceremonies.

In AuSable Forks, U.S. Rep. Bill Owens was a special guest at the Memorial Day service held at 11 a.m. in Veterans Park. Other featured speakers include Col. George King of the Honor Flight program. The master of ceremonies was town of Jay Supervisor and Essex County Board of Supervisor Chairman Randy Douglas.