The Kenmore-Tonawanda Memorial Day parade, believed to be the largest in New York, kicked off in the Town of Tonawanda Monday.
It was the 70th year for the parade, and parade organizers set out to make the 2019 event something special.
Even before the post war Baby Boomer Generation, there was the “Greatest Generation” when Americans made collective national sacrifices to win World Wars, and take on communism in Southeast Asia.
Time is taking its toll on the Greatest Generation, and the Kenmore Tonawanda parade did its best so we don’t forget.
World War Two Veteran Elmer Wienclawski, 99, was chosen grand marshal for this year’s Ken-Ton parade, and he stood straight and proud, as the crowd showed their appreciation.
Vietnam War veteran Jim Billoni stated his appreiciation, “All the people that put their lives on the line for their country and were not as fortunate as I was to come back home. It is time to just pause and remember them.”
It is also worth noting, local first responders are gaining more recognition in the Ken-Ton parade, likely due to the sacrifices first responders have made in the War on Terrorism, starting with the September 11, 2001 attacks on America.
There has been a tendency to honor first responders on Memorial Day. Also of note has been the number of veterans joining police, firefighters, and emergency medical services when they come home.