Memorial service honors the fallen

GLOVERSVILLE – A crowd gathered in Prospect Hill Cemetery after the city’s Memorial Day parade Monday to honor the servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the nation’s wars.

Gloversville seventh-grader Maya Rivera, who won a Patriots Pen writing contest, read her winning essay during the ceremony.

Rivera reflected on who veterans are and what they have done for the nation.

She said her interest in veterans grew after the 2010 Memorial Day parade and service, when a veteran gave a speech that inspired her.

“That speech really touched my heart,” Rivera said. “It made me

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want to be a veteran. Just think about it, if you were a veteran, you would be giving time, dedication and commitment. I would give up my life because they did the same for me. I would be giving freedom to the world and bring hope.”

After she read her essay, she was thanked by members of the Police Benevolent Association and Gloversville Firefighters Association.

Mayor Dayton King, in his speech to the crowd, said while Memorial Day is a day of celebration and cookouts, it also is a day of recognition and remembrance of those who made great sacrifices.

“The reason we are all here is for the real, true heroes,” King said. “A real hero is somebody who sacrifices their lives for the greater good of others, and I think many people that are buried here today fit in that category. Let us remember while we are having our barbecues and enjoying our weekend that Memorial Day is to celebrate and remember those that have [given] their lives so we could have the good things.”

There also was a reading of the Gettysburg Address, and city Public Works Director Kevin Jones read Gen. John Logan’s orders from 1868 to remember the fallen.

The memorial service was opened and closed with prayers by Gloversville Fire Department Chaplain Chris Hamm.

“Today is a day where we who live in this country remember with gratitude those who have died in military service,” Hamm said.

The ceremony closed after red, white and blue wreaths were laid and a volley of gunshots were fired.

“Taps” echoed throughout the cemetery before the Gloversville High School Band played patriotic songs to conclude the day’s events.