Lyndonville honors sacrifice of soldiers on Memorial Day

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 May 2022 at 6:32 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Matt Heinsler, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, left, and Jim Simon of the Air Force stand at attention after placing a memorial wreath by the monument at Veterans Park in Lyndonville. There also was a display that was intended to remember POWs and those missing in action.

Auston Bentley, a Lyndonville freshman, plays Taps during the Memorial Day service today.

Lyndonville Lions Club members walk in the parade. From left include Lynne Johnson, John Belson and Harold Suhr.

Johnson, the County Legislature chairwoman, also spoke during the Memorial Day service at Veterans Park.

She urged people to spend time today in “measured remembrance” in thinking about the sacrifices of the men and women who fought and died for the country’s independence and freedom.

“Always remember the courage and sacrifice that is the ultimate gift from those who put themselves in harm’s way for all of us,” Johnson said.

Bob Burtwell, a member of the American League, marches in today’s Memorial Day parade in Lyndonville.

Jonathan Cappetta, left, carried the banner along with Keith Trautman, not in picture. Keith is the grandson of Joe Hausler, a member a of the American Legion. They were part of today’s parade and then service at Lyndonville’s Veterans Park.

Steve Goodrich, the commander of the Houseman-Tanner American Legion Post in Lyndonville, leads the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

He said there are now 435 Lyndonville veterans in the six cemeteries in the town. Goodrich has been a member of the post for 14 years, during which 25 members have died. He urged veterans in the community to be part of the local American Legion.

“It’s getting harder and harder every year,” he said about the Post’s service to veterans and the community. “There are less and less of us.”

The flag holders are Austin Kassay, left, and Brody Spoth. They were later applauded for holding the flags for more than an hour in the 80-plus degree heat.

Goodrich urged the community to look at the names and faces on the 100 new Hometown Hero banners of soldiers and to explore local cemeteries, pausing at the graves of veterans.

Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon served over 20 years in the Air Force with duties as a helicopter pilot, staff officer, military history teacher, commander and strategic planner.

Over 500,000 Americans have been killed in combat and another 85,000 missing in action, Simon said.

“We are here to honor, as Abraham Lincoln said, those who gave the last full measure of devotion,” Simon said.

Anna Stelianou waves to people in the Lyndonville downtown. She rode a new trolley with veterans in the trolley’s first parade. The parade was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions.

Stelianou was a key donor in getting the trolley. It was dedicated today in memory of her brothers – Fred, Peter, George, Menel and Ernest Stelianou.

The trolley will be used to transport veterans during parades so they don’t have to make a long walk on pavement in the hot sun or in bad weather.

Eric Villalta, the Lyndonville band teacher, directs students in playing a Salute to America, and The Stars and Stripes Forever. The chorus led by teacher Jennifer Trupo sang the Star Spangled Banner, My Country ’Tis of Thee and America the Beautiful.

Harold Scribner of the Lyndonville Fire Department enjoys a breeze by the Johnson Creek dam and waterfalls. The display of American flags is on the school grounds.

Annabelle Follman, a junior at Lyndonville, will represent Lyndonville at the Empire Girls State program in Brockport in July. She thanked veterans and active duty military members for their service.

Lyndonville Little Leaguers carry a flag and walk in today’s parade.