Veterans Honored During Memorial Day Ceremony And Monument Unveiling
Published: May 31st, 2022
By: Sarah Genter

Veterans honored during Memorial Day ceremony and monument unveiling Legion Post 189 Chaplin and Vietnam combat veteran Lieutenant Frank Revoir, Sr. served as the master of ceremonies for the Memorial Day services held in West Park on Monday. Wreaths were placed in front of the World War II monument in memory of deceased veterans from past and current conflicts, and the flag line made up of Patriot Guard Riders stood next to it throughout the ceremony. (Photo by Sarah Genter)

CHENANGO COUNTY — Crowds of Chenango County residents gathered in East and West Parks on Monday to honor and remember fallen soldiers, as well as recipients of the Purple Heart award.

The Memorial Day services began with a parade marching down East and West Main Street to the West Side Park, where members of the Norwich American Legion Post 189 and Norwich VFW Post 2782 held a ceremony recognizing veterans lost in battle.

Parade participants included the Norwich Marching Band, the Norwich VFW Post 2872, the Norwich American Legion Post 189 Auxiliary, the DAV Volunteer Transportation Network, the Norwich Girl Scouts, the Norwich Fire Department, and the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office.

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An opening invocation was given by acting American Legion Post 189 Chaplin and Chenango County American Legion Auxiliary President Mary Lou MacAvoy, with retired US Army Command Sgt. Maj. Edwin J. Tucker as this year's guest speaker.

Legion Post 189 Chaplin and Vietnam combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient Lieutenant Frank Revoir, Sr. served as the master of ceremonies.

"Did you know that today is the most expensive day on the calendar? Every hot dog, every burger, every spin around the lake or drink with friends or family is a debt purchased by others," said Revoir.

"This is not about all who serve, that day comes in the fall. This is one in honor of those who paid in life and blood. Whose moms never saw them again, whose dads wept in private, whose wives raise kids alone, and whose kids only remember them from pictures. This isn’t simply a day off, this is a day to remember that others paid for every free breath you ever get to take."

Immediately following the Memorial Day services in West Park, attendees then gathered in East Park for the unveiling of the Purple Heart monument created by Chenango County Office of Veterans Services Director Joe Coe and Savurn Memorials proprietor Mark William.

Coe said he helped to establish Chenango County as a Purple Heart Community in May of 2021, but he wanted to do more to recognize Purple Heart recipients.

"I thought, we’ve got to do a little more. I decided that I would try to secure funding and donations for a monument. Something that would be lasting, and not a piece of paper on the wall," said Coe. "I reached out to some of the community businesses and individuals, secured the funding for the monument itself. Today we’re going to unveil that monument in recognizing all the Purple Heart recipients past and present, and just remember them for their duties and sacrifices."

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The monument was placed in front of the American flag in East Park, and stands approximately four feet tall and five feet wide. It's made out of solid granite, and displays a bronze placard dedicating it to Purple Heart recipients, as well as the insignias for each branch of the military along the bottom.

In total, the monument cost approximately $10,000 to create, which was funded by the generosity of local donors, according to Coe.

The unveiling featured several guest speakers, including Chenango County Board of Supervisors Chairman George Seneck, City of Norwich Mayor Brian Doliver, Village of New Berlin Mayor and Retired MG Peter Lennon, Assemblyman and retired Sgt. Maj. USMC Joseph Angelino, Chenango County American Legion Commander and retired first class Petty Officer William Haines, Norwich VFW Post 2782 and retired Army M. Sgt. David Cox.

An invocation was given by VFW 2782 Post Chaplin Lex Danyluk, and the closing benediction was given by Legion Post 189 Chaplin and Vietnam combat veteran Lt. Frank Revoir, Sr.

Also in attendance was retired Lt. Robert Dellecesse, a veteran of World War II.

"The Purple Heart of course was for veterans who got hurt, and it’s most appropriate that they have done this ceremony and erected this monument. It’s something that’s well deserved today," said Dellecesse.

When it was time to officially unveil the monument, Coe asked all attending Purple Heart recipients to assist him with removing the cover.

"When we unveil that Purple Heart Monument, you'll see that sun shine on that monument, and it'll shine with warmth, with each and every veteran who either gave their life or were seriously injured," said Coe. "If you look at that sun shine on that monument, day and night, in the evenings it'll still shine."