Memorial Day brings families together


By Jonathan Delozier - jdelozier@civitasmedia.com



John Pena, commander of Amherst VFW Post 1662, speaks to the crowd on the honor of sacrifice in service and the need to support loved ones who are left behind.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

An Amherst little league player finds a patriotic way to keep the sun out of his eyes.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

One-year-old Anna Barbanick waves her flag from one of the best seats in the house.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

A rifle salute is given following the keynote speech.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

Sisters Brynn and Elle Kingry keep their candy piles nice and organized.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

Two-year-old Colin Hostutler savors a lollipop he caught from a passing parade car.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

VFW and American Legion members salute the flag at half-staff.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

Amherst mayor Mark Costilow waves to the crowd alongside his wife Cheryl.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

This young baseball player smiles for the camera as he passes in the parade.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

The Steele High School flag corps add color to the parade.


Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

Hundreds gathered under sunny skies Monday at Cleveland Street Cemetery for the Amherst Memorial Day parade.

“We love coming down every year,” said Jodi Phelan as her family watched veterans march. “My favorite part is the service in the cemetery. I cry every year and did again this year when they played ‘Taps.’ That’s really emotional. The kids are finding out what this is all about too. My brother-in-law recently served but he is home now, safe and sound. We’re very thankful for that.”

John Pena, commander of Amherst VFW Post 1662, launched the event with a somber and poignant reminder of the sacrifices of fallen U.S. servicemen and women.

“These graves echo the glory of valiant deeds,” he said. “Under the quiet sod their bodies sleep in peace, but their souls go marching on. Because of them, our lives are free. Because of them, our nation lives. When we recall things they did, we see them as heroes who are mighty in our midst. When their country called, they left their paths of peace to spring to arms.”

Ron Sams of Lorain also took young children to the ceremony for an early lesson on sacrifice.

“We’re proud of the people we’ve lost and a reminder of that is always a good thing,” he said. “My cousin from San Diego is here today too and it’s great to have all of our kids watching at once.”

The parade down Forest Street included representation from the VFW, American Legion, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, as well as area churches and youth baseball programs.

Pena closed his speech by emphasizing the importance of supporting families of fallen veterans.

“Let us not forget the loved ones left behind,” he said. “Our tears or words of sympathy cannot bring back the comfort of those loving hands or the music of their voices… Comrades, on this Memorial Day, let us pledge ourselves anew to patriotic service. Let us make ourselves a friend to those who won’t see their own again in mortal flesh.”

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

John Pena, commander of Amherst VFW Post 1662, speaks to the crowd on the honor of sacrifice in service and the need to support loved ones who are left behind.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8328.jpgJohn Pena, commander of Amherst VFW Post 1662, speaks to the crowd on the honor of sacrifice in service and the need to support loved ones who are left behind.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

An Amherst little league player finds a patriotic way to keep the sun out of his eyes.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8417.jpgAn Amherst little league player finds a patriotic way to keep the sun out of his eyes.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

One-year-old Anna Barbanick waves her flag from one of the best seats in the house.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8407.jpgOne-year-old Anna Barbanick waves her flag from one of the best seats in the house.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

A rifle salute is given following the keynote speech.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8331.jpgA rifle salute is given following the keynote speech.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

Sisters Brynn and Elle Kingry keep their candy piles nice and organized.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8438.jpgSisters Brynn and Elle Kingry keep their candy piles nice and organized.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

Two-year-old Colin Hostutler savors a lollipop he caught from a passing parade car.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8395.jpgTwo-year-old Colin Hostutler savors a lollipop he caught from a passing parade car.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

VFW and American Legion members salute the flag at half-staff.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8334.jpgVFW and American Legion members salute the flag at half-staff.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

Amherst mayor Mark Costilow waves to the crowd alongside his wife Cheryl.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8366.jpgAmherst mayor Mark Costilow waves to the crowd alongside his wife Cheryl.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

This young baseball player smiles for the camera as he passes in the parade.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8436.jpgThis young baseball player smiles for the camera as he passes in the parade.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

The Steele High School flag corps add color to the parade.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/05/web1_IMG_8377.jpgThe Steele High School flag corps add color to the parade.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times

By Jonathan Delozier

jdelozier@civitasmedia.com