A year after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled or changed Memorial Day events, some events in Cortland County are returning while others are still on hold.
Homer’s American Legion Post 465 will have a parade this year from North Main Street to Glenwood Cemetery in Homer, said Brenda Clark, the adjutant for the organization.
The parade will start a 9 a.m. — near the intersection of Main and Clinton streets in Homer, travel south down Main Street, turn west onto Route 90 to the cemetery, she said.
At the cemetery, speeches and a wreath laying will take place as per tradition.
The annual parade was canceled last year due to the pandemic. A small, non-public gathering at the cemetery commemorated the day, instead.
“It’s great getting back to our normal traditions,” Clark said.
Masks won’t be required for those who are vaccinated, Clark said.
Leading up to Memorial Day, members from the legion will plant flags 6 p.m. Wednesday at the cemetery, Clark said.
American Legion Knickerbocker Post 696, will also be returning to its traditional events Monday, said Commander David Fuller.
The legion will travel from cemetery to cemetery Monday morning, have its chaplain place a rose on the grave of a veteran, say a prayer and fire a volley of rifles to commemorate the dead, he said.
Memorial Day events
- Cortland: 11 a.m. outside the Veterans of Foreign Wars Tioughnioga Post 2354, 76 Main St.
- Homer: 9 a.m. parade from North Main Street to Route 90 to Glenwood Cemetery, ceremony following.
- Cincinnatus: Visits at the following cemeteries: 8 a.m. German Cemetery; 8:30, Willet Cemetery; 9, Lower Cincinnatus Cemetery; 9:15, Cincinnatus village green; 9:30, Cincinnatus Cemetery; 10, Taylor Cemetery; 10:30, Pitcher Cemetery; 11, Pharsalia Center Cemetery.
- Groton: Visits at the following locations: 9 a.m. Graves Memorial; 9:15 Bird Cemetery; 9:30 North Lansing Cemetery; 9:45 West Groton Rural Cemetery; 10 Peruville Cemetery; 10:15 Stonehedges Golf Course Cemetery; 11 McLean Cemetery; 11:15 East Groton Cemetery; 11:30 St. Anthony’s Cemetery; 11:45 Groton Rural Cemetery; 12 Groton Nursing Home; 12:15 Groton American Legion
Additionally, the group’s last World War II veteran — Charles Fausnaugh — will be honored, Fuller said. Fausnaugh died prior to Memorial Day 2020 but due to COVID restrictions, the organization did not have its traditional cemetery visits last year and did not have a ceremony to honor him at.
“I feels good that we’re able to go this far” to have the event again, Fuller said.
Like Homer, the decision for masking will be up to the individual as the organization is following health guidelines, he said.
Because restrictions last year prevented the organization from having cemetery visits last year, a small wreath-laying ceremony was held at the town green in its place.
As the day approaches, Fuller said that calls have been coming in asking about Memorial Day events, suggesting that people are interested in attending again this year.
“I hope it’s as good as years past,” he said.
Cortland will have a small ceremony in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Tioughnioga Post 2354, at 76 Main St., like it did in 2020, said Commander Amanda Gallow.
Beginning at 11 a.m., the event will include a few prayers and a short speech, Gallow said.
While restrictions have loosened, she said the organization was still being careful about gatherings.
In years past, the organization would have a band playing before to the ceremony, she said. A second ceremony would be at Courthouse Park.
Because of COVID last year, the event was just a short ceremony held in front of the post, which will be the same this year.
Still, she thinks more people will attend this year.
“I think we’ll have a decent turnout,” Gallow said.