New Paltz celebrates Memorial Day on May 30 (with photo gallery)

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With Army veteran and US Congressman Chris Gibson leading the parade down Main Street, New Paltz gave thanks to its servicemen in Friday’s  Memorial Day commemoration. The parade, following Gibson, began in the rain and ended in sunshine at the Village Hall Veteran’s Memorial. There, following a convocation calling for peace and a recognition of what America’s collective servicemen have sacrificed over the years to achieve it, was the National Anthem played by the New Paltz High School marching band, a reading of the names of dead New Paltz veterans by the VFW commander, a bag-pipe rendition of “Amazing Grace,” and then a few hopeful words by Gibson: “We’re hoping for a long period of peace after Afghanistan, but should not forget those who gave their lives for our country,” he told the 100-or-so citizens in attendance.

And as always, Memorial Day ended sadly with “Taps,” the requiem for the dead soldier, played on a solo trumpet.