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Home » Chris Marquart » After two years, in-person parade and Memorial Day service returns in Gorham

After two years, in-person parade and Memorial Day service returns in Gorham

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Gorham-Rushville-Middlesex Memorial Day parade and observance returned to an in-person event Monday in Gorham.

Following the parade, a ceremony was held at the Gorham fire hall. Honored were:

Invocation: Pastor Bill Robinson, Reed Corners Federated Church

Dedicated Citizens: Ken and Robin Perkins, owners of Kenneth J. Perkins Funeral Home in Gorham. Ken and Robin have been married since 1974. Ken has been a funeral director for 50 years. The Perkins’ raised their three children in Gorham, daughter Mary Whitbeck Perkins, son Aaron Whitbeck Perkins and daughter Nora Whitbeck Perkins. They have four grandsons.

Presenting the colors and leading the Pledge of Allegiance: Troop 63, Scouts BSA, Gorham.

Honored veteran: Loren Shaw, Corporal, United States Marine Corps. Loren joined the Marine Corps in 1964, serving in Vietnam. Following his discharge, he worked for Eastman Kodak for 27 years. He was married to Nancy Blair and had three children, Timothy, Michael, and Alisha, and ten grandchildren. His community organizations include the National Rifle Association, Marine Corps League, and SCOPE.

The Marcus Whitman Wildcat Marching Band played in the parade at the service under the direction of Holly Blueye.

Holly also sang the National Anthem.

Parade Grand Marshall: John Fladd. John served in World War II as a rifleman in the 89th infantry, assigned to Patton’s 3rd Army. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After the service, he graduated from RIT, becoming an accomplished artist and sign painter. He married his wife of 67 years, Marion Louise Gage. John has four children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. John is a member of the Rushville Methodist Church. He has served on the Marcus Whitman School Board, the Gorham Town Board, the Rushville Lions Club, and Crystal Beach Fire Department.

In memory: Lt. Spencer D. Dodge. He graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1994. He earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology in 1994 and was participating in Army Ranger Training. Spencer had seven brothers and one sister. He was laid to rest with full military honors at West Point Cemetery.

The keynote speaker was Jeremy Marshall, Director of Veterans Services for Ontario County. Following the 9/11 attacks, he left the Marine Corps to join the Army as an infantryman. He completed infantry school, then airborne school. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC with the 82 Airborne. He was injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan and spent 13 months recovering at Womack Army Hospital. He held several positions before taking his current job with Ontario County. Jeremy has a bachelor of business administration degree from American Military University and is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration.

Heartsound, featuring Diane Drumm, Julian Smith, Karen Orbe, and Samuel Smith performed a patriotic medley.

There was a tribute to veterans of all wars, with a three-shot salute by members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, followed by the playing of taps.

Benediction: Pastor Tricia Garback, Gorham Methodist Church.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

In memory: Honored was Janet Read, who passed away in April. She was instrumental in planning the Memorial Day program, as well as banners with the photos of local veterans, the Rushville History Room, and the Rushville Wall of Honor in the village hall, featuring photos of over seven hundred local men and women who served their country.

Next year’s parade and services will be held in Rushville.