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The Villages Celebrate Memorial Day, Rain or Shine

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May 28, 2024

Memorial Day in the rivertowns usually brings out large crowds not only to gather as a community in honor of the fallen soldiers and sailors from past wars but also to applaud the living veterans and cheer on the fire fighters, EMTs, scouts and school bands as they parade through village streets.

Sleepy Hollow Mayor Martin Rutyna addresses the crowd (photo by Sunny McLean)

Not so this year. With torrential rains and wind predicted, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow as well as Irvington and Dobbs Ferry canceled their parades. Dobbs took the extra precaution of holding their ceremonies in the high school gym.

Dobbs residents filled the high school bleachers

Only Hastings, either from good fortune or forethought, held a full outdoor ceremony and parade on Sunday, when skies were bright blue and the temperature in the low eighties.(For a full account  of the Hastings Memorial Day, see the Rivertowns Currrent ( rivertownscurrent+hastings-on-hudson@substack.com).

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By tradition, village officials and veterans from Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow gathered around the war memorials at the northeast corner of Patriots Park—not far from the spot where colonial patriots captured British Major John Andre, altering the course of the American revolution.

Bill Florin, Commander of the Dobbs Ferry American Legion Post

Irvingtonians gather around the war memorial on Main Street to hear speeches, plant wreaths and flags and sing “God Bless America” before dispersing.

In Dobbs Ferry, residents poured into the high school gymnasium and filled the stands to hear speeches and honor their dead. Bill Florin, now in his mid-eighties and affectionately as Captain America, performed his traditional role as emcee of the proceedings.

The rains did not come until later in the day.

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