Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 26, 2013

Strong show of support in the Falls during annual parade, Memorial Day ceremony


With the sun shining and a nip in the air, a crowd gathered in Hyde Park Saturday afternoon.

They came to remember, to reflect. They gathered for lost loved ones who never returned home from battle, or for those who did and have since passed. They joined together to commemorate Memorial Day, which will be officially recognized Monday.

Several local dignitaries paid tribute to those fallen their own way. Like Mayor Paul Dyster, who used sports to put into perspective the sacrifice soldiers make when they take off for foreign lands, a trip to the other team’s home turf.

He said watching hockey a few nights ago, despite the Buffalo Sabres not playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, brought to mind how fortunate the U.S. has been not seeing foreign troops invade this land in almost 200 years, not since the War of 1812. But having to go play a road game and win is sometimes a lot harder, he said.

“It’s a great blessing, not having to fight the home game,” Dyster said. “But it’s a blessing secured for us by the men and women who’ve fought over the years ... who’ve had to go fight the away game in someone else’s country. And sometimes that’s more difficult for them, sometimes it’s the first time they’ve ever been away from the comforts of home.”

A man who understands that commitment is Col. John Higgins, commander of the 107th Airlift Wing at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Higgins spoke at the Memorial Day service, which followed the annual parade, and informed the crowd of just what the immediate future holds for the embattled unit.

They’re being deployed. And it’s coming in the next few weeks, he said.

“It’s nice to see the support,” he told the crowd after announcing the impending departure would take place in a few weeks and would take them to central Asia.


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