CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Early Saturday morning, community members of all ages gathered at various memorial day ceremonies to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Vincent Jackimo attended that ceremony at Oakwood Cemetery, representing the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).
At Oakwood, there are soldiers that represent every war America has ever been involved in…and have been laid to rest, including Samuel Wilson, otherwise known nationally as Uncle Sam.
Jackimo says that is why these ceremonies are important for everyone to learn and never forget the meaning of the holiday.
“I think it’s very important that we preserve our history for those that went before us from all wars,” Jackimo said.
Each year, friends, family, and neighbors mark 2,000 graves of veterans who were buried at the location with flags.
At the Saratoga National Cemetary, hundreds of people sang songs, listened to stories, and learned more about the importance of the holiday. Scott Lamb, Cemetery Director, shared some thoughts from 16th President Abraham Lincoln.
“One of President Lincoln’s lasting beliefs was that it was the job of the living to take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last bold measure,” he said.
Michael Barrett says he believes these ceremonies are even more important since the holiday has been heavily commercialized. But he still hopes that during this weekend, each person can take a few minutes of their time to remember and honor those who laid down their lives for our freedoms.
“Many people still recognize the significance, origins, and beginnings of why we have Memorial Day,” he said. “We’re honoring those who have sacrificed, served, and given their lives.”