Memorial Day is a Day of Solemn Remembrance

Memorial Day is long associated with the much-anticipated start to the summer camping, grilling and outdoor recreation activities we all enjoy so much. And, while it is a wonderful time to relax and spend time with family and friends, we must not forget it is also a day of solemn remembrance.
Over the years, America has suffered losses of our most courageous men and women during campaigns to preserve our freedom. This weekend is a chance to reflect on the tremendous bravery and sacrifice required to secure the basic liberties that each and every one of us enjoy.

I hope each of you can take some time to appreciate all that our fallen heroes have given to us and all that we are able to experience here in the U.S. We must never take it for granted; our way of life came at a great cost.
Memorial Day’s inaugural celebration took place here in the Finger Lakes Region. At its inception, it was instead called Decoration Day, in 1866. The Village of Waterloo, as many are aware, was the location of the gathering. Local druggist Henry C. Welles has been credited with the idea to commemorate those who died during the Civil War and the notion was wholeheartedly supported by General B. Murray. Together, they created the first Memorial Day celebration for the village, and in 1971, it became a national holiday.  
This weekend, there will be many ceremonies and parades throughout the Finger Lakes Region. Locally, there will be parades in Canandaigua, Cheshire, Clifton Springs, Ionia, East and West Bloomfield, Manchester and Shortsville, Honeoye, Victor and Geneva, according to the Visit Finger Lakes event’s calendar.
And, of course, Waterloo’s Memorial Day celebration, will be both fun-filled and informative, featuring the Henry C. Welles Award Reception, Civil War Encampment, a parade, student assembly, military services at local cemeteries and more. For additional information about local festivities, visit the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce website.
As the son, father, brother and uncle of U.S. veterans, I have a personal and heartfelt appreciation for the sacrifices made by our soldiers and their families. I encourage everyone to take a moment to stop, consider all we are so fortunate to have here in America, and reflect on the true significance of Memorial Day. 
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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