‘It’s heartwarming’: Fallen remembered on Memorial Day

Gates and Penfield Memorial Day Ceremonies

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GATES, N.Y. – As John Roth stood in the rain watching the American flag fly outside Gates Town Hall Monday, he said the bad weather didn’t matter.

“You hear all these bad things going on, that it’s such a toxic environment nowadays it seems, and it was just great to see these people staying here in the rain enduring this just to honor the people [who] gave their lives so they can enjoy the freedoms that they have,” he said.

Seeing the community honoring the fallen men and women in uniform is what Memorial Day is all about, Roth, who served in the U.S. Navy in the 1960s and 1970s, said.

Jan Richards, whose father served in the Navy in World War II, shares that sentiment. She came to Penfield’s Memorial Day celebration, which was moved indoors due to the weather. It had a standing-room only crowd.

“It’s heartwarming. It’s heartwarming,” she said. “We’re here because we love the veterans and we support the families and we support the people [who] are still in and the men and women that are still serving for us.”