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Memorial Day traditions changed, not broken in Homer (audio)

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On a typical Memorial Day, residents in Homer honor those who have fallen with a parade through the village and a public ceremony at Glenwood Cemetery.

COVID-19 forced the cancellation of this year’s parade, however a private event will still be held and live-streamed in order to continue the tradition in Homer as best as possible.

“It was a very difficult decision to make, but ultimately, we had to consider the public safety,” said Mayor Hal McCabe. “We realize this is less than ideal, but we hope you will all understand, and stay at home and watch or listen to the ceremony as it happens.”

Only those participating in the ceremony will be admitted to Monday’s event. Entrances will be blocked off and only those visiting the graves of loved ones will be allowed into Glenwood, but not near the ceremony.

Monday’s ceremony will start around 10 am and be live-streamed by the Cortland Voice on Facebook, then later posted for on-demand viewing. WXHC will also provide extensive coverage.

We also interviewed a few of those involved this week for a special Memorial Day segment featuring: Mayor Hal McCabe, Village Historian Martin Sweeney, American Legion Post 465 Commander Paul Powers and Homer Police Chief Bob Pitman.


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Here’s a full list of Monday’s events in Homer, which are currently planned as followed:

  • 10:00 AM START
  • RAISING FLAG~ JAY FORBES, Homer Police Department and JOE RILEY, Homer Fire Department
  • INTRODUCTION~ PAUL POWERS, Commander, American Legion Post 465
  • INVOCATION ~ MB KINGSLEY
  • STAR SPANGLED BANNER/NATIONAL ANTHEM~ HANNA SLADE
  • INTRODUCTION~ GUEST
  • MORTUARY REPORT/ LOGAN’S CALL~ PAUL POWERS
  • 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR~ Jim Toolan (Village of Homer Glenwood Cemetery Supervisor, Vietnam Veteran – Marines). / Fran Riter – Vietnam Veteran
  • THANKS TO FIRST RESPONDERS / INTRODUCTION OF GUEST SPEAKER ~ PAUL POWERS
  • GUEST SPEAKER ~ JULIE FAIRCHILD-NIEDERHOFER, Nurse, Cayuga Medical Center
  • LAYING OF THE WREATH~ PATRICK PERFETTI, District Attorney, Cortland County
  • BAG PIPER~ NICK LUNDBURG (AMAZING GRACE)
  • BENEDICTION~ MB KINGSLEY
  • GOD BLESSS AMERICA~ HANNA SLADE
  • CALL FOR SALUTE TO THE DEAD~ PAUL POWERS
  • COLOR GUARD~ VOLLEY OF FIRE
  • TAPS~ DUAL ~ VINCENZO PERFETTI & DOUG VANETTEN
  • THANK YOU~ PAUL POWERS

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