HERKIMER – The Herkimer Veterans Council will put on its annual Memorial Day Parade again this Monday, Memorial Day, in the village of Herkimer.
The parade begins at 1 p.m. at the Herkimer County building on North Washington Street. The route takes the parade up to State Street, then heads to North Main Street and on to Park Avenue, ending in Myers Park with a memorial service, said Angie Dorantes, secretary of the Herkimer Veterans Council.
Herkimer’s Memorial Day Parade has been an annual event for about 60 years, said Herkimer Veterans Council President Tim Tubia. After years of being a large event, the parade lost some steam in recent years, dwindling in size and spectators.
“Years ago it was a much bigger event,” Tubia said. “Local schools and their marching bands were involved and it was a longer route. But now not many schools have marching bands anymore and the popularity of the parade just died away.”
That fact is something Tubia, Dorantes and the rest of the Veterans Council have been working hard to combat, and not without results.
“Every year it grows a little,” said Dorantes, who got involved in the event a few years ago. “It gets a little bigger and a little better each year. Hopefully in a few more years it will be even bigger and better yet.”
“There aren’t a lot of community events in Herkimer, which makes this one all the more important,” she continued. “It makes me sad that some people still say, ‘There’s a parade in Herkimer?'”
And more than a event to bring the community out and together, it is an event to remember the sacrifice of men and women in the armed services.
“It’s a time to stop and think about what these men and women have done for us and will continue to do in the future to maintain our freedom,” Dorantes said.
“And as a veteran, it’s a day to remember our fallen comrades,” Tubia added. “So many soldiers, even in recent times, have given their lives to protect our way of life. This is our way of paying tribute.”
Following the parade, there will be a short memorial service in Myers Park, including a performance by the Herkimer Elementary School chorus and high school band.