The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York


JUNE 3, 2011

Rain gives way to sun as Bedford observes Memorial Day holiday


Soaking rain in the early morning followed by sweltering heat didn’t put a damper on Memorial Day parades and ceremonies in Bedford on Monday.

Although the rain resulted in the Bedford Hills ceremony being moved mostly indoors, the events in all three hamlets captured the patriotic spirit and paid solemn tribute to those who served our nation.

From the veterans and others who marched to those who lined the routes to guest speakers at ceremonies in Bedford Hills, Katonah and Bedford Village, participants in the trio of annual parades on May 30 commemorated the freedoms the United States is known for, and recognized those who have or are currently defending those freedoms.

“It is fitting that we pause to remember those who have given their lives so that we may live in a country secure in the blessings of liberty,” said Supervisor Lee Roberts, who marched in all three parades and spoke at ceremonies in each hamlet. “Let us never forget at what price our liberty was won, and keep the light of liberty burning in this great land.”

As in years past, Memorial Day in Bedford was marked with fervent displays of red, white and blue as scores of residents took part in one or all of the three consecutive commemorations in the hamlets.

But while the marching, music and festive flair of the parades painted portraits of small-town Americana, the ceremonies that followed conveyed the deeper significance of the national holiday.

Assemblyman Robert Castelli, who was the guest speaker at the ceremony in Bedford Hills, spoke about his own experiences as a Vietnam veteran and the importance of remembering the service and sacrifice of those who fought and died for our country.

“I say to you, America, do not honor the wars, but honor your warriors,” Mr. Castelli said. “For no matter what the judgment of history about the rightness or wrongness of any conflict, what will never be in doubt is the courage and sacrifice of those who answer the call of duty.”

Because of heavy thunderstorms around the scheduled 9 a.m. start of the Bedford Hills parade, the ceremony was held in the Community House, where members of the hamlet’s fire department and Lions Club joined with veterans, other marchers, elected officials, invited guests and local residents gathered for musical selections and speeches.

In Katonah, American Legion Post 1575 Commander Guy Zinser thanked “our Supreme Commander” for stopping the rain and letting the sun shine down on the parade through that hamlet and the ceremony at the traffic circle across from the library.

The American Legion’s Pete Brown, who served as master of ceremonies, urged each adult in attendance to explain the true meaning and message of Memorial Day.

“We must never forget the sacrifices of those heroes, and what they and their families have lost,” Mr. Brown said. “We are forever in their debt.”

Wreaths were placed at three monuments to fallen veterans in Katonah, including one in front of the firehouse, where paradegoers enjoyed ice cream and other refreshments after the parade and ceremony. Many of those who marched or lined the streets in Katonah later attended a barbecue at the American Legion’s headquarters on Route 22.

Residents who attended the parades said it was a fitting way to mark Memorial Day.

After watching an honor guard place a wreath at another monument in Bedford Hills, Jeff Hammel said he thought it was important to bring his young son and daughter to the ceremony. “We all look at Memorial Day as the end of a nice, long weekend to start the summer, but we need to remember what the day is all about,” said Mr. Hammel, who watched the ceremony and rifle salute on Bedford Road. “Coming out once a year to say thanks to those who died and those who served in the military, or are doing so now, is the least we can do.”

David and Katherine Zapsky of Bedford Hills brought their 2-year-old twins, Andrew and Isabella, to the parade and ceremony in Katonah. “I think it’s important that we as a community show our respect and gratitude to those who have served and sacrificed,” Ms. Zapsky said. “The kids like the flags and the fire trucks, but it’s great that Bedford holds these parades and ceremonies to honor the members of our military and our veterans, especially those who never came home.”

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.


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Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

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Bedford Village

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Bedford Hills

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  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


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  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center;
    294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center;
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  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

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South Salem/Vista

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    Route 123   

Cross River

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  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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