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Town of Greece hosts annual Memorial Day parade

Hundreds of spectators gathered along Long Pond Road in the town of Greece Monday to enjoy a Memorial Day parade.

The annual parade, which honors military personnel who lost their lives during combat, was a last-minute decision by town Supervisor Bill Reilich, who decided to move forward with the display after hearing about disappointment from residents when word of the initial cancellation got out. 

“My social media was loud and clear,” said Reilich. “Residents in the town of Greece want to gather and give thanks and appreciation for those members of our armed forces that paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Reilich decided to host both the parade and the remembrance ceremony at the town hall’s pavilion.

Vietnam War veteran John Whitney said for him the parade is a reminder of how many Americans now recognize the importance of the military.

“I think back to about 55 years ago, when I came back to the country and people just spit at me, called me all kinds of names,” said Whitney, “It's really nice to see people say they appreciate me now.”

For Bill Allocco, Memorial Day is another way to honor all his family members who died while serving the United States. At every parade, he sits amid a fortress of American flags, and each flag serves a purpose.

“These flags represent my father, my father-in-law, my uncle who was killed in World War II, and my confirmation sponsor who was killed in Vietnam,” said Allocco. “This is an important day.”

After the parade, Allocco plants the flags by the graves of all the fallen veterans in his family. It’s a tradition he has passed on to his children.

Racquel Stephen is a health and environment reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.