LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Under hot, muggy skies, hundreds of Lewisboro residents showed up Memorial Day to pay tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The town marked the holiday Monday with two separate parades and ceremonies. The first parade and service took place in Goldens Bridge and was sponsored by the John B. Winter American Legion Post. A ceremony was held at the Goldens Bridge Community House, where state Assemblyman Robert Castelli (R, C-Goldens Bridge) gave a speech of remembrance.
The second parade and service was held in South Salem with a ceremony at the Town House. The invocation was given by the Rev. Chip Andrus, pastor of the South Salem Presbyterian Church, and World War II veteran Bob Quentin gave the address. Lewisboro Scouts put out the memorial wreaths.
Quentin, a South Salem resident, fought at Utah Beach and the Battle of the Bulge. He told the crowd how he heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and how many of classmates immediately volunteered for military service. Volunteerism is the cornerstone of communities such as Lewisboro, he said.
“Volunteerism is something we should never forget,” Quentin told the crowd on the front lawn of the Town House. “The fire department, the ambulance corps, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts are all volunteers. I hope all of us will give thanks to these groups who give of their time to help this town.”
Supervisor Peter Parsons, who acted as MC for the service, told the crowd, “Dedicate every day of your lives to build the country that [veterans] sacrificed so much for.”
Lewisboro resident Alice Kipness attended the parade and ceremony with her family, including her 85-year-old dad, Anthony Fusano, who was visiting from Brooklyn. Fusano, a World War II vet, served in Italy and is an American Legion member.
“This is a special day for him,” Kipness said. “He’s seen a lot of the parades. But we like to bring him to this one because it has a nice, small-town feel to it.”
Although it was a day for remembering the fallen, it was not a completely somber day. After the parade and ceremonies, the 36th Annual South Salem Presbyterian Church Memorial Day Races and Fair kicked off on the great lawn of the church. The races included a 5K and 10K run.
“We had three members of our family run in the 5K race,” Kipness said. “This day is a big deal.”
The Forever Molly and Gregory Fund were the sponsored charity at the fair. The South Salem Presbyterian Church donated 10 percent of all entry fees for the races to the organization. The fund honors two young children and their mother who were murdered in Cross River last October. It will award grants in the Katonah-Lewisboro community to support programs that enrich the lives of Molly and Gregory Friedlander's classmates and teammates.
Besides the races and games and activities for the kids, for the first time the fair featured an afternoon of musical performances, including renowned guitarist Arlen Roth, the church pastor's Andrus, Monique Varsames and Blues Corruption.
“This is year is a little different because we spiced it up with some music,” said Andrus, who moved from Arkansas to take over the South Salem Presbyterian Church last summer. “I also smoked some pulled pork [for the fair] and you can tell from my accent that I know how to do that.”