Niagara Gazette — Niagara Falls veterans, joined by their families, citizens and politicians in remembering those that have given to this country through military service, stood through frigid November wind and rain at the newly minted Niagara Falls Veterans Memorial for speeches and ceremonies.
The wind gusts sent old glory into frenzied ripples as about 250 people stood through the barley-above-freezing temperatures, bundled in coats and hats as "Amazing Grace" played on the bag pipes, "Taps" played over the speakers and the famous war poem "In Flanders Field" was read aloud.
David Fabrizio, one of the founding members of the Niagara Falls Veterans Memorial Commission and a veteran himself, thanked the many veterans who braved the driving rain to attend the Veterans Day services, as well as those that came out to honor them.
Fabrizio pointed to a sealed sarcophagus bearing the names of 463 Niagara Falls residents that died in battle and said that standing through the nasty fall weather was a small sacrifice compared to what those men gave to their country.
"We're going to put up with one hour of inclement weather in their honor," he said.
After the ceremony, standing next to the sarcophagus — built to the exact scale of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery — Fabrizio said that it was "incredible" to see the monument completed seven years after the commission set out on its task.
"It's not just brick and mortar," he said. "There's a lot of preparation work, planning."
Fabrizio said the most important part of the day's ceremony was being able to offer some comfort to military families that have lost their soldiers, whether in conflict or at home.
"... we've brought some closure, we've brought some honor to those gold star families that were out here today," he said.