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Soldiers honored by large crowd in Medina

Posted 26 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Sue Cook – A wreath was placed on the canon at the corner of State Street Park to honor the fallen. Pictured are the commanders of the Medina VFW and American Legion.

By Sue Cook, staff reporter

MEDINA – In patriotic display this morning, Medina was packed with people wearing mostly red, white and blue.

Crowds lined up to watch a parade that made its way from the Old Pickle Factory to State Street Park.

The 4-year-old Kujawa twins, Olivia and Mia, waved flags given to them by the Sons of the American Legion.

The streets were packed as the parade moved along. The local youth baseball teams wore their colorful uniforms and tossed candy to other kids who were watching.

Though the morning was a joyful celebration, the crowd stopped in the park to listen to speakers remind everyone of the meaning of Memorial Day.

“There are some things that we Americans must never forget and this gathering serves as a reminder to all of us, both young and old, that our free and democratic way of life is intact today because generations of men and women chose to put themselves in harm’s way and multitudes gave up their lives for the cause,” said the Rev. Vincent Iorio, pastor of the Cavalry Church of Medina.

The Medina Mustangs Marching Band played the National Anthem in the park after the opening prayer.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley spoke at the event to remind everyone of what our servicemen and women have done for us.

Hawley told the crowd, “Our nation has resolved to nurture freedom by serving as an example to the rest of the world, and ultimately defending other democracies if needed. From our own Revolution to the War on Terror, the cumulative sacrifice of all our conflicts has been enormous.”

“Thank a veteran today as we honor his or her fallen comrades,” Hawley urged. “Remember our gold-star mothers whose son or daughter made the ultimate sacrifice. Above all, never take our freedoms for granted.”

Hawley concluded his speech with words printed on a remote Allied World War II battlefield memorial. “When you go home tell them of us, and say: For your tomorrow, we gave our today.”

Veterans lined up along the edge of the park near the ceremony stage and flagpole.