Skaneateles Along the shore of a choppy Skaneateles Lake, 151 American flags blew in the wind Monday, Nov. 12, in Shotwell Park as more than 200 community members gathered to remember and thank local veterans.
For the third consecutive year, the Skaneateles Girls Lacrosse Association sold flags to be displayed in the park, each flown either in memory of honor of a group or individual veteran. Flags were sold for $40 or $20, depending on whether they were new flags or purchased from a prior year’s tribute, as a fundraiser for the girls lacrosse association.
This year, as in years past, the association donated a portion of the proceeds to the Robert J. Hydon American Legion Post 239 in Skaneateles. Brad McLennan, representative of Post 239, announced that the funds earned will allow veterans to travel to the World War II and Korean War monuments in Washington D.C.
The ceremony began with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by the members of the Skaneateles Girls’ Lacrosse Teams. Rhona Prescott, a former nurse in a Vietnam War MASH unit, shared a story of her time in Vietnam. “I wasn’t sure if there was a god anymore because I had seen so much,” she said. Through her experiences she saw that “there are angles on the battlefield and there is a god.”
Skaneateles resident Julia Wamp spoke in honor of her brother-in-law Herb Daniel, who left that day for Fort Gregg. Daniel, in an email to Wamp that she read aloud during the ceremony, expressed his honor and thanks to the Skaneateles Girls’ Lacrosse Teams, and said he “continues to serve because of their support.”
In groups of two or three, lacrosse team members read the names of the veterans on the flags in the park. The crowd joined in a closing prayer thanking god “for all the veterans, those whose flags fly proudly in this park and for all those many, many others who sacrificed and who are sacrificing for the safety of our country. Bless them and their families.”
The final blessing was given by Reverend Toppie Bates, the Associate Rector at St. James Church. America the Beautiful was sung by all.
Olivia Emerson contributed to this report. Kathleen Emerson is an Eagle Newspapers contributor.