Freedom To Honor

The city of Jamestown came together Monday to celebrate and remember the men and women who have fought to preserve our freedoms.

A parade honoring service men and women of the area kicked off at 10 a.m. at Main and Fourth streets in Jamestown. The parade started on Fourth Street and continued past Main Street where it took a left on Prendergast Avenue and continued to its end at Soldier’s Circle in Lake View Cemetery. The parade featured area veterans, high school student marching bands, the Jamestown Municipal Band and more.

Following the parade, a Memorial Day service was held at Soldier’s Circle. The service featured several speakers,

including Michael Rauh, a veteran from Jamestown, who acted as keynote speaker. Rauh, who has several other veterans in his family, works as a service officer by helping veterans file for compensation and disability benefits.

“It was important for me to do my part and to take the opportunity to let people know really what the value is of our rights,” said Rauh. “A lot of times we don’t really appreciate it, we think that we do, but when you appreciate something it affects the way that you live.

“Memorial Day is an important day for so many reasons, the most important of which is the recognition of the cost paid for our freedoms and our way of life,” he continued. “Freedom is not free – it is paid for with the hearts, minds and souls of veterans – today we pay our respects and offer our gratitude for American service men and women who died at home and abroad in service to their country. It is important to understand the price paid for our freedom. It is important that we teach each new generation that freedom is not free. If we do not understand the price of freedom, we will never appreciate the value of freedom.”

According to Sam Teresi, mayor of Jamestown, who participated in the service held at Soldier’s Circle, every year the community initiative started by the United Veterans Council turns out perfectly. Teresi began his speech by acknowledging Jamestown’s municipal workforce, who facilitated the delivery of the Memorial Day tradition.

“This solemn ceremony held at Soldier’s Circle every year is truly what Memorial Day in the city of Jamestown is all about – recognizing those that have served, that have given and those that have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be here today celebrating Memorial Day,” said Teresi. “Make everyday Memorial Day in this community and in this country. When you see a veteran or active service member go up to her or him and thank them for what they are doing to keep us safe, to keep this country strong and to keep it the shining star of human kind.”