SENIOR SOCIAL – 1 p.m. Otsego County Seniors (and a guest) are invited to test out their trivia on the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Bring a team or we will make one for you. Prizes awarded for each round. Donuts and cider will be provided. Presented by the Otsego County Office for the Aging. American Legion Pavilion, Willow St., Otego. 607-432-3279 or visit www.facebook.com/otsegocountyOFA/
BLOOD DRIVE – Noon – 5 p.m. Quality Inn, 5206 St. Hwy. 23, Oneonta. 1-800-733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org
LEGACY RIDE – 9:45 a.m. Raise money for scholarships for the children of post-9/11 veterans. Join the American Legion Post 259 and the Red Knights chapter 44 for this memorial motorcycle ride marking 20 years since that fateful day. Cost $20/participant, kickstand up at 11 a.m. Begins at The American Legion, 279 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-0494 or visit www.alrpost259.org/legacy
BLOOD DRIVE – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Main Street Baptist Church Briggs Hall, 333 Main St., Oneonta. 1-800-733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org
OTSEGO — As part of a way of respectfully destroying old flags that are no longer serviceable, veterans from the local Cooperstown VFW and American Legion held a ceremony at the Cooperstown Sportsmen’s Association just north of Cooperstown on Saturday, July 3, where they burned more than 1,600 flags,.
VFW Commander Floyd Bourne and American Legion Commander Bob Crawford led the ceremony which was followed by a gun salute and the playing of Taps on the bugle.
Bourne said the burning of the flags was a way to “consecrate to ashes” and although flag burning has a negative connotation, this is actually the correct way to dispose of flags, according to the United States Flag Code.
“We shall retire them with the respect they deserve,” Crawford said.
“We thank God for this country and our flag and for the liberty for which it stands,” Bourne said.
Jay Deitchman and his son Jonathan Deitchman, from Scout BSA Troop 168 in Worcester, came to help with the flag retirement. Deitchman said the retirement of the flags was something that was important to them. They said that normally they would’ve done this earlier during a scout camp, but because of COVID it got pushed back.
“It’s very important and it’s an honor to be a part of it,” Deitchman said. “It’s something most people don’t know about. A lot of people just toss them when they get old. It’s something that means a lot to us.”
Normally, flags are retired on Flag Day but because of COVID restrictions, the ceremony was pushed back. Bourne said the ceremony was also abridged because of the pandemic restrictions being in place when the ceremony was being planned.
ONEONTA – Despite the occasional rain and cold weather, hundreds came out for the Memorial Day parade and a wreath laying ceremony Monday, May 31, in Neahwa Park to honor the country’s veterans who died in service.
Participants in the parade included the Oneonta Fire Department, the Oneonta PD, the American Legion, the Rotary Club, the Boy Scouts and the VFW.
Fred Hicken, a WWII veteran, was the grand marshal of the parade.
The parade started on Market Street, adjacent to the Foothills Performing Art Center. It proceeded on Main Street and ended at the veteran’s memorial plaques in the park.
Mayor Gary Herzig gave a personal thank you to the veterans present at Neahwa Park.
“I had family members who lost their lives in the concentration camps,” Herzig said.
Herzig said that Memorial Day was important to “take the time to remember those who fought and particularly those who didn’t come home,” Herzig said. “Their sacrifice and their families’ sacrifice was also our entire communities’ sacrifice … We can only dream of what we could’ve been if we hadn’t lost those who didn’t come home. It’s a true loss not only for them and their families but all of us.”
During the ceremony at Neahwa Park, there was a short invocation to begin the ceremony that said a prayer for stopping the rain and allowing them to honor veterans. The Gettysburg Address was read, along with Gen. John Logan’s orders, which first designated Memorial Day as a time of honoring veterans.
Scouts BSA of Oneonta placed about 3,600 flags across the community.
The ceremony ended with a 21 gun salute and the bagpipes of Michael Woytach, an Iraq War veteran who is part of the VFW in Oneonta.
“It’s just to pay my homage for those who can’t be here with us today,” Woytach said.
Herzig summed up the day with his closing remarks.
“It’s a sad day and also a proud day,” Herzig said.
RELAY FOR LIFE – 11 a.m. Join Fall Foliage Run with the American Legion Riders in memory of Robin Enck, Rider & Army Veteran who lost his life to cancer this year. Ride to support American Cancer Society in the search for a cure. Registration begins 9:45 a.m. Cost, $15/participant. American Legions, 279 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-0494 or visit www.facebook.com/alrpost259
Rob Martinez, American Legion Riders director, and Assistant Director Chris Chase have made it their mission to make the ride substance-free in recent years. But they wanted to make sure today’s ride was COVID-free as well. Before the start of this year’s 18th Legacy Run, Chase created a blog post on the Legion Riders website promoting safe practices for all riders. Riders, like Nathan Epps, Gloversville, top photos wore masks and had their temperatures checked by Devin Chase, Oneonta. “The Legacy Run is a scholarship to benefit children of soldiers and veterans who have passed away or have become disabled since 9/11,” explained Martinez, seen in image on right. “This year we’re doing it a little different,” added Chase. “Instead of giving all the proceeds to the national Legacy fund, we will be splitting it with our own fund. Last year no children from New York received any support, so with the money we keep we will make sure half of it goes to our local kids.” some will also go to businesses who contributed to the Legion Riders over the years. “We know some of them are struggling and this is a way for us to give back and thank them for their support,” Chase said. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
WORCESTER – Joseph K. Brennan, 85, passed June 30, 2020 at Albany Medical Center after a short illness.
Joseph was born March 26, 1935, in The Bronx, the son of Mae McLoughlin and Joseph Brennan.
He served in the Navy from 1952 to 1960, his most significant assignment being on the USS Lowry DD-770. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Medal, UN Medal and China Service Medal.
There was no parade, and the crowds that usually cluster around the Memorial Walkway in Oneonta’s Neahwa Park were noticeably absent during the annual Memorial Day Celebration this morning. Above, Master of Ceremonies Les Grummons salutes as “Taps” is played for attendees, who brought wreathes and listened to a short speech from Mayor Gary Herzig. Following the ceremony, some members of the legion stopped by the home of John Forman, left, to salute him alongside fellow WWII veteran Fred Hicken. Returning to Legion Post 259, the veterans were surprised with complementary lunches from Brooks’ BBQ, courtesy of The Porch Fairies, anonymous donors who wanted to make sure veterans were honored. In addition to lunch, the Porch Fairies also dropped off gift cards for groceries for any veteran in need. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
LEGACY RUN – 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Motorcycle ride to support American Legion Legacy Fund supporting children of deceased veterans through their higher education. Includes stops in Delhi, Margaretsville, Downsville, Walton. After the run enjoy music, food, Chinese auction, more. American Legion, 279 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-0494 or visit www.alrpost259.org/legacy
Legion Commander Terry Harkenreader and Wayne Gregory, above, present a Blue Star flag to Roxanne Condon, Oneonta, in honor of her son Leaf Ericson, who is serving as a foreman in the Navy, as part of the Blue Star Ceremony. Six area families were honored this evening at Oneonta’s American Legion Post 259. Originally started in 1917, the Blue Star Ceremony presents families with children serving in a branch of the military with an honorary flag to hang in their window. The tradition fell out of fashion during the Vietnam era, but has been regaining in popularity in recent years. This is the first time the Oneonta Legion has taken part in the ceremony. Inset at right, Ericka Ericson, Kim Lindberg and Lois Proctor listen as Gregory reads the history of the Blue Star flag. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)