Rochester's Memorial Day parade salutes those who sacrificed

May 29, 2017

One of this area’s largest Memorial Day parades was held Monday in Rochester.

The light rain at the beginning of the parade didn’t do much to discourage people who already had been lining parts of East Avenue and West Main Street; they just opened up their umbrellas, took out their rain gear, and waited for the dozens of marching bands, floats, and numerous local military service people and veterans to make their way through the route.

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Among those watching near East and Alexander, was Daniel Osfowitz, who says he was there in part to honor his father who served in the Korean War, and really, just to honor everyone who served.

“They put their life on the line in many situations, Vietnam, Korea , so we can be here, be free and be where we are today because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be where we are.”

Lawrence Pace of Irondequoit, is a Marine  veteran of the Vietnam War. He says he goes to a number of parades, this one has special significance for him because of the friends he lost during the Vietnam War.

And Pace says the reception that most people give veterans now is a lot different from the days when he came back from Vietnam.

“The country has grown so that it separates the warrior from the war, and I feel that was a real plus; what we had to go through was an eye opener for everybody, so that all changed for the good, and I’m  grateful for that.”

Several people along the route said that they wanted to make sure the true meaning of this holiday , to honor all those who lost their lives in service of their country, is a message that doesn’t get lost in what for some people is just another three day weekend.