KINGSTON – Perfect springtime weather marked this year's Memorial Day, as thousands of spectators lined the streets of Hudson Valley, New York communities to mark the occasion with flags, honor, parades and ceremonies to honor those who gave their lives for our country.
Hurley's traditional parade kicked off with the boom of musket fire, as a long line of veterans, marching bands, and officials made their way down the hill along Main Street. The procession included fire trucks, wagons, and a long line of vintage Corvettes.
Afterwards, the entire community gathered outside Hurley Town Hall, where hot dogs and sodas were given out to all who hungered for their favorite American holiday barbeque delicacy.
Later in the afternoon, Kingston's flagship parade began with a solemn ceremony outside City Hall, with a 40-gun salute. Broadway was lined for several miles with residents enjoying the warm air and sunny skies.
It was Mayor Shayne Gallo's second year marching at the front, as leader of Kingston. The first-term politician was elected in 2011, by a city harboring fond memories of his brother Thomas – a previous mayor who died in office about 10 years ago.
Gallo said he feels proud leading the procession during such events.
"I grew up right around the corner on Andrew's Street,” said Gallo. “I walked in those parades with my father when he was president of the city council. It's very humbling and gratifying to be part of a community that has such a rich historical legacy and tradition of being very aware of our sense of place in our nation's history. I just can't say enough about how humbling and honored I am to be able to walk down Broadway. We are in an area where the founding fathers of our country existed, worked, fought for our freedom and beliefs. It's something I think that's necessary to never forget, that the reason we have the lives that we do, and be able to enjoy a beautiful day like today, is because of their sacrifice and their duty to their country and our community. It's a great tribute to the vets."