February 2, 2021
The Celebrate Commemorate event for 2021, has once again been postponed until May 2022.
This decision did not come lightly and was thoroughly vetted by the multiple public agencies whose permissions were required.
The May 30th Commemorative Memorial Day ceremonies will be allowed, with the appropriate COVID regulations in place at that time.
Given the uncertainty surrounding these types of large events for health reasons, it would be impossible to coordinate with all parties involved in a timely manner if this decision were to be delayed.
The committee has been working for several months to organize and reimagine the 2021 event. This group of volunteers deserves a heartfelt thank you for their efforts, not only now but for the past 20 years of family friendly events provided for the community.
Every effort will be made to hold the solemn Commemoration on May 30th as has been the case for the past 153 years consecutively in Waterloo, NY the Birthplace of Memorial Day.
Caren Cleaveland, PNP
16 East Wright Avenue
Waterloo, NY 13165
firstname.lastname@example.org — 585-703-6489
March 11, 2020
BATTLE CASUALTIES PLAQUE DEDICATION
This year during the Celebrate Commemorate Weekend in Waterloo, NY there will be an additional ceremony at its American Civil War Memorial located on the corners of Washington and Locust Streets.
Not only will there be the 12th annual Illumination and Remembrance Ceremony at 7:30 pm, Friday, May 22nd supported by five (5) Civil War Organizations and the Celebrate Commemorate Committee, but there will also be a Battle Casualties Plaque Dedication on Saturday, May 23rd at 2:00 pm
The Battle Casualties Plaque will be located in back of the Northside of the Star Stone at the memorial. This plaque is the last addition to the memorial that commemorates the fallen soldiers from Waterloo, who caused the first Memorial Day Commemoration, as well as all lives lost during the American Civil War.
There were at least 620,000 killed in action during the Civil War from April 12, 1861 to April 9, 1865. Our Battle Casualties Plaque will list the top ten (10) battles, total lost, location and date of each battle.
Join us, If not on Friday, May 22nd at 7:30pm for the Kick off of Waterloo’s Celebrate Commemorate weekend, then on Saturday May 23rd at 2:00pm where we will be sharing in our program the horrific losses to not only the North, but the South, in the top ten (10) battles with the most casualties.
You can help the Waterloo Rotary Club fight hunger locally by joining us in a little friendly competition called EXTRAVA”CAN”ZA 2020. The goal is to stock the shelves of a local food pantry (of your choice) with non-perishable food items (canned or boxed food) in May. Our goal is to collect 4000 non-perishable items.
What’s involved? Organize a team to collect food items and use the items to build a structure at the Waterloo Community Center on May 22 and be displayed May 23 and 24. Rules and tips for building a structure are on the reverse side of this form. Most importantly, be creative and have fun!
How do You get involved? Register your team by completing the form below and returning it to us along with a $10 fee to be donated to Hunger Initiatives by May 1, 2020. Your structure must be built on Friday, May 22 from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm (other times on Friday can be arranged) and ready for display on May 24 and 25. Winners in several prize categories will be recognized, including a People’s Choice award!
On Sat. May 24 and Sunday, May 25 anyone may visit the displays to browse and/or to vote from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm on Sat. and 10:00 am until 3:00 pm on Sunday. Votes are 10 for $1.00.
Food must be picked up at 3:00 by the food pantry named. Uncollected donations will be donated to Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency.
Rules & Guidelines
- Aluminum food cans or boxed food of all sizes may be used.
- Cans must be full, unopened, with labels intact and legible.
- Labels may not be covered or altered in any way.
- Do not place tape anywhere on the can’s label. During take down, the tape may pull the label from the can. A can with no label cannot be taken to the food pantry.
- Accessory props are allowed, however, props and boxes should not be a dominating feature of the entry.
- No glass containers, pet food, alcoholic beverages, open or exposed foods are allowed.
- Velcro and clear tape may be used as adhesives, but remember to not cover the label.
- Teams are allowed to place colored paper discs on the tops of cans.
- No permanent adhesives, such as glues, may be used.
- Leveling or supporting materials are permitted.
- Please create a large “professional” sign telling the public and the judges who you are and about your structure. The sign should have any information pertinent to your structure that will help draw the judges’ and public’s eye to your display as described. This sign should also contain information on the number of items used, cost of your build and the name of the Hunger Initiative you have chosen to receive the food.
- Each team may dismantle their own on Sunday, May 24 at 3:00 p.m. If you do not, Waterloo Rotary will dismantle it. Props must be picked up at 3:00 p.m. on May 24. If Waterloo Rotary dismantles the structure, no props will be returned. Someone from the group you have chosen as the recipient should pick up the food on Sunday, May 24 from 3-5 pm. Food not picked up will be donated to Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency.
- This year’s theme is “Waterloo Remembers”.
- Judges will be looking for displays for the following categories:
Best Meal Most Creative Best Theme
Judging will be based on design, overall conception, imagination, and creativity based on the rules. Entries will also be judged based on practicality of the foods used. What do we mean by practical? That means a build using more protein-rich foods and less Kool-Aid would do better than one made completely out of Doritos. Our goal here is to feed the hungry well; remember that when selecting building materials.
- All awards will be presented on Monday, June 1, 2020 at the Waterloo Rotary Club dinner meeting at the Quality Inn at 6:30 p.m.
- The People’s Choice winner will be determined by the EXTRAVA”CAN”ZA 2020 structure with the most votes from the community. Community voting will take place on Sat. May 23 and Sun. May 24 at the Community Center. To vote, community members will need to buy tickets (10 for $1) and place them in the container by the structure of their choice.
Still Have Questions?
Parade Co-Chair – Sarah Smolinski 315.745.9928 email@example.com
Parade Co-Chair – Nicole Hunsberger 315-719-5247.
The parade will line up at 10:30 a.m. and step out promptly at 11 a.m. for the march down Main Street.
Slideshow of the 2018 Parade
This year’s honor float in the Freedom Parade pays tribute to our men and women who have served. Come watch the Romulus Girl Scouts come together to carry a large flag down main street in honor of all military men and women who have served and are still serving. We welcome anyone who would like to join us in this great opportunity.
A float by Girl Ccout Troop 60562 will honor all veterans. Any Vet who would like to ride on the float is invited to call Sarah Smolinski at 315-745-9928 or Nicole Hunsberger at 315-719-5247.
Veterans will follow in cars, motorcycles and especially buses from the VA hospital in Canandaigua. Those who want to drive their own cars must have at least three people in the vehicle. Following the parade, vets will be hosted at a chicken barbecue lunch at the VFW. Please RSVP to Karen Lewis at 315-651-9513 to allow the VFW to plan for enough food.
Groups that have been in the parade before, know what fun it can be. Once again, there will be divisions for military and officials; youth organizations, schools and families; churches, senior citizens and organizations; and vehicles. The Civil War and American Revolutionary War re-enactors will have a “parade within a parade.” Watch for special “dignitaries” in this year’s parade including US President Abe Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. The very popular Hit Men Brass Band will join Downbeat Percussion, Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps, the Waterloo Central School Band and the Finger Lakes Pipes & Drums in the lineup this year.
Bring your chair and wave a flag to honor our vets and community stars!
New to this year’s celebrations, we have joined forces with an organization that goes by the name of Operation Build Up. They are a non profit organization based out of Avon, NY. They are a team of former marines that come together and rebuild vehicles for veterans in need.
Their mission is “to have an impact on the 22 veteran suicides per day and homelessness statistics by surprising veterans with the basic items needed for survival in a civilian lifestyle. Our goal over the next year is to surprise over 150 veterans with vehicles and complete home furnishings all across New York state!” Operation Build Up has not only given cars away but this past Christmas they gave a veteran and his family a home to live in rent free for four months. OBU came together as a team and collected donations from near and far and was able to make a dream come true for this veteran during a time of need.
Excerpt from CEO and Founder of Operation Build Up, Justin Cogswell:
Many people do not realize how difficult of an adjustment it can be to move from military life into civilian life for many veterans. Most of our heroic veterans return home from service with just enough personal belongings to fit in their vehicles. Many also have skill-sets that are strictly combat related making the transition into civilian life a challenge. Veterans are brave, dedicated, selfless people by nature.
Anyone that has met a hardened military veteran understands that they are the last people in the world to ask friends and family for help, or express their troubles. They are expected to be able to figure it out because “He or she is a Marine!”, “Or a Soldier!”…. This attitude adds more pressure to our already overwhelmed veterans. Yes there are many programs offering needed assistance, most of which have requirements based upon percentage of disability, discharge classifications, discharge dates, and many additional criteria that further complicate assistance.
Operation Build Up is here to change these circumstances. Regardless of the criteria. We will help every veteran that we can with the necessary tools for survival in a civilian atmosphere, young and old. Whether you have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Vietnam, or any other conflict; we will do all we can to come to your aid.
Imagine if we could have an Operation Clean Out To Build Up warehouse in every major city! By giving restored vehicles and furniture we give them a comfort, sense of belonging, and the tools necessary to create stable lives. The effect on Veteran’s homelessness and suicide statistics would be dramatic.
We Won’t Leave You Behind, Our Team Strives To Simplify The Process Of Getting Resources To Our Veterans.
Operation Build Up will be joining us this year in surprising one of our local veterans with a car of their very own right here in Waterloo.
The Henry C. Welles award honors those individuals who “embody the character and commitment of the founder of Memorial Day toward the betterment of our community.”
For his efforts to preserve and improve the village of Waterloo, this year’s Welles award honors Leland “Lee” Henry of 93 Virginia Street.
“For more than 50 years, Lee has worked tirelessly for the improvement of Waterloo,” said Josh Mull, a member of the selection committee. “From his service in the Lions Club and the Jay Cees, to his work on the Town Board and his efforts as a private citizen, Lee’s life of service and commitment is exemplary.”
Lee Henry will be presented his award at a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 pm on Friday, May 24, at the Waterloo Library and Historical Society, East Williams Street, the kickoff for Celebrate Commemorate weekend.
Henry came to Waterloo with his family from Brooklyn in 1946, in the middle of his junior year in high school, and although his work forced him to move frequently throughout his adult life, Waterloo was always the place he called home.
Lee graduated from Waterloo High School in 1947, and after a year in college enlisted in the ARMY, serving four years with the 82nd Airborne Division. While in the service, he married his high school sweetheart, the former Alice O’Connor, who joined him at Ft Bragg, N C .It was not surprising that the young couple returned to Waterloo following his discharge. “Our roots were here,” he explained.
Not long after settling into his new home, Henry joined the Waterloo Lions Club and became involved in the group’s many projects. The Lions created the first crossing to Oak Island by installing a culvert and path from Oak Street. They then built a playground in the swampy area north of what is now the Community Center, between Oak & Seneca St “We literally drained the swamp before it became a popular phrase,” Henry said with a laugh. Mike Weaver, local tile drainage expert, provided help with drainage and surveying, he said.But the group was stymied when it came to installing a fence around the field. The project’s cost was more than the group could fund. Then they heard that the former Andes Furnace Co on Route 5&20 in Geneva was closing and would donate its cyclone fence to the Lions if they removed it that weekend. Verne Sessler Sr. .came to the rescue providing trucks and equipment and on a “rainy, cold weekend” in November the Lions turned out to take on the challenge of rolling up several hundred feet of fence, pulling up posts and removing the concrete footings. “That’s when I learned to use a jackhammer,” Henry joked. The playground was completed over several years, fence erected, painted, equipped, supervised and became a Village operation. Henry remained a Lion for many years, serving at least one term as President.
During this time, he was employed at Greenwood Foods, moving up from warehouseman to transportation manager. For three years he also drove three nights a week to Syracuse University to study economics and transportation, a tough commute in those days with no Thruway. And he and Alice raised their three children, daughters Karen and Valerie and son Leland. When work took him away from Waterloo, Henry reluctantly gave up his community activities. But he returned home in 1965-66 in time to assist fellow Welles Award recipients Richard Schreck and John Genung on the Centennial Committee that succeed in Waterloo being named the official Birthplace of Memorial Day.
It was a proud day in 1978 when Lee successfully passed the five, four-hour exams to earn his professional certification from the American Society of Traffic and Transportation. Following his retirement in 1992, Henry returned to public service. He served on the Town Board from 1997-2001, helping form a zoning committee and develop a comprehensive plan and the Town’s first zoning ordinance, with a bevy of other ordinances to protect to Town, in 2000.
Henry served on the board of the Library & Historical Society from 2005 to 2009 ,helping raise funds and drafting the organization’s first formal budget and instituting health care and retirement plans for employees.
He is proudest of his work as vice president of Concerned Citizens of Seneca County in helping to shutter mining on a 200-acre field East of Burgess Road. “Saving that land is huge. If Waterloo is ever going to expand, that’s the natural direction,” he explained.
Alice Henry died in 2014, and these days Lee, age 90, enjoys spending time with his children and their spouses, nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren who all live nearby, and his large orange cat “Dilbert”. He works part time as a delivery person for BonaDent, serves as an usher at St. Francis-St. Clare church, delivers Meals on Wheels and is working on his golf game.
“We are honored to welcome Lee Henry to the group of amazing men and women who are previous Welles Award recipients,” said Jane Shaffer, co-chair of Celebrate Commemorate.
At 4pm on Saturday May 25th:
Patriot Pizza Eating Contest sponsored by Ciccinos Pizzeria!
* Chicken BBQ’s by K&R Catering:
Saturday, Waterloo in Bloom & Sunday, Waterloo Rotary
* Celebrate Committee Food Booth – featuring Hamburgs – Hot Dogs
Hot Sausage & Ciccino’s Pizza, soda, water
* Dar’s Delights – Home Made Ice Cream
* 1st Presbyterian Church – assorted pies, coffee, bottled water, ice cream for
* Riblicious bbq – pulled pork bbq
* Cayuga Lake Creamery – Ice Cream
* G & G concessions – Hawaiian Shaved Ice & Cinnamon Roasted Nuts
* Dandy Sandy Sweets – Frozen Cheesecake on a stick
* Summertime Bliss – lobster roll, clambake
* MaMa Bear Concessions – Fried Dough, Lemonade & French Fries
* Pack 81 – Concessions on Oak Island
For more information please contact:
Conrad Struzik- 315-246-3041
The culinary tent is being organized by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Stop by and see what’s cooking!
Rise and shine on Celebrate/Commemorate weekend with breakfasts
at the American Legion and VFW
If you are looking for a Schedule of Events, Event Map or 5k Race Map, or need an Application for an event or wish to be a vendor, please visit this link.
The Civil War encampment this Memorial Day weekend on Oak Island will feature a two day long “School of Instruction for Engineers / Pioneers”. Engineers were one of four branches of the Army including the infantry, artillery and cavalry during the American Civil War. The general public will be able to see Civil War reenactor participants build some of the various defensive pieces during this school of instruction. Pioneers were infantry troops that were skilled tradesman that acted as “infantry engineers”, one per every 100 man company if they were available.
Photos courtesy of Dennis Luthart
The role of the engineer was extremely vital for the Army to move across the land and fight on the battlefield. The engineers were instrumental in clearing paths through woods, laying down “corduroy roads” on muddy surfaces, building wooden trestle bridges and transporting / deploying pontoon bridges over rivers. Defensive works needed the guidance of the engineers to construct gabions (three foot tall, round wicker containers filled with dirt to place around artillery batteries), and direct the building of field fortifications especially towards the middle through the end of the war when trench warfare was more prevalent. Chevaux-de-frise (or Friesian horses) were anti-cavalry defensive pieces built by engineers that were often logs with projecting sharpened spikes alternating every foot out of the timber. When placed in front of defensive works they acted as a barrier or obstacle for both cavalry and infantry offensives. Abatis were large branches that were placed in front of works as well to serve as a obstacle to slow down an advance of troops. Also in front of such works were shallow rifle pits (much like foxholes) that the defenders would use to repel the offensive forces. Signal towers were often constructed behind the lines for both observation of the enemy and use by the signal corps to transmit semaphore messages with flags. Lifting gins, with their pulleys, were used to lift heavy objects such as cannon barrels.
During the course of the “School of the Engineer / Pioneer”, the public will be able to witness participants rotating through 45 minute learning sessions on how to build gabions, chevaux-de-frise, lifting gins, dig rifle pits and a construct a signal tower. The Engineers’ Tool Depot will feature hand tools, entrenching / felling implements and cartography (map making) equipment. Witness history yourself, see their camps, examine their personal belongings, food and equipment. The school located at the Oak Island encampment will commence on Saturday at 1pm following the Memorial Day Parade.
The school is hosted by two Western New York engineer reenacting units. Capt. Ray Ball of Co. A of the U.S. Regular Engineers has been reenacting since 2010 and is a veteran of the Army Corps of Engineers. Capt Alex Johnson of Co. F of the 1st N.Y. Volunteer Engineers, has reenacted since 1992 and is a descendant of an immigrant sergeant of the original New York regiment. If you’re so intrigued to, join in on the fun and enlist in either Co. A of the U.S. Regular Engineers or Co. F of the 1st N.Y. Volunteer Engineers.
Photos courtesy of Dennis Luthart
May 23-24 2020154th Consecutive
Memorial Day Observance
May 30, 2020