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Memorial Day Special Day to Remember in Ossining

During Monday's Memorial Day Ceremony, 167 names will be read out loud commemorating Ossining veterans who died during wars from the Revolutionary War to the Iraq wars.

"Memorial Day is something special in and of itself. It's memorializing all of our war dead in all of our nation's wars," said Michael O'Connor, Ossining's superintendent of highways who is a Vietnam veteran involved in Ossining's Committee of Organized War Veterans.

The committee has organized the parade and ceremony and expects marchers to line up at 9 a.m. at the corner of Croton and Calam Avenues and step off half an hour later. Groups will march down Croton Avenue, Main Street and Spring Street, and march up Washington Avenue reaching Nelson Park  around 10:40 a.m.

Miguel Hernandez, a former mayor of Ossining and a military historian, will give a short Memorial Day speech. It will include a special commemoration of the Civil War because it is the 150th anniversary of start of the war between the states that ended in 1865.

Veterans, community and benevolent organizations, the Ossining school board, the Ossining fire department and police department, the Ossining High School band, and local girl and boy scout troops are all expected to march in the parade.

During the ceremony, the first people to lay wreaths will be "gold star" mothers who have lost a son or daughter during a war.

"What's special about this (event) is that the community remembers," O'Connor said. "Without this, Memorial Day is a sale. It's a sale at Sears, Costco, K-Mart... I wish that the public will turn out and enjoy the parade, enjoy the ceremony, and remember that we enjoy our freedoms in this country because of the citizen soldiers that went to defend our rights against tyranny."

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