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Honoring War Dead in Pearl River

Veterans and other residents joined in a candle light vigil for Memorial Day in Pearl River's Braunsdorf Park.

Local veterans were joined by other residents honoring those who have fallen while serving the United States with a candle light vigil Sunday night in Pearl River's Braunsdorf Park.

Crosses are placed in the ground bearing the names of those killed in action. A candle was lit in front of each cross.

"Memorial Day has become a massive holiday and a great day for celebration, but we are here tonight to remember its true meaning, to honor our war dead," said Tom Markham of VFW Post 7370.

Pastor John Havrilla of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River offered prayers as part of the ceremony.

"For me, Memorial Day has become not only a holiday, htough it is a holiday, but a holy day," Havrilla said. "It's a blessed day. I thank you all for coming out. It is good to see our numbers increase. We want to pass along to our young folks the sense of sacrifice that is at the very heart of what life is about."

During the ceremony, the 24 Hour Honor Guard by the crosses. Veterans and members of many other local group take turns standing guard from noon Sunday to noon Monday.

"We encourage you to join us," Markham said. "Spend an hour, whether you stand for five minute sor a half hour. It is appreciated in the honor of those who have fallen."

The John H. Secor American Legion Post 329 annual Pearl River Memorial Day Parade is scheduled to start from First Niagara Bank (formerly HSBC) on Middletown Road in Pearl River at 10:15 a.m. Monday morning. The parade turns down Central Avenue and ends at Braunsdorf Park, where there will be a memorial service. World War II veteran Arthur Cozwith is scheduled to be the guest speaker.  

For more from Sunday's ceremony, see the videos attached to this report. 

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