Memorial Day means a lot this year - BlueStone Press
October 1, 2020
Rochester

Memorial Day means a lot this year

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Town of Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman spoke at the Veterans Day Ceremony. “We honor those that fell, but a lot of the time we think of them as generic, as those people. We don’t think of the faces, and the families, you don’t see that. When we lost Sgt. Shawn Farrell, it hit home. We lost one of our own. This was a loss for our community,” he said. Chipman also spoke about the sacrifice, not only of Farrell, but also that of his family, who attended the ceremony. “I’ve seen something in the community in the last month,” he said about the show of support in the area. The names of other members of the community who have died in the past year were also read: Cliff Knudsen, WWII and Korean War Vet; Harry Christian, WWII Merchant Marine; Charlie Fischer, Vietnam Vet and Doris Lamon, VFW member. 

In the middle of the Veterans Park memorial stood a table set for one, a way of symbolizing the fact that members of our community are prisoners of war, missing in action and killed in action. "They are called fallen comrades." The table was set with a white and black tablecloth (where "the white represents the purity of their intentions to serve and the black represents our mourning for our fallen comrades"), a single rose and a single white candle, white gloves, a sword, an inverted wine glass and a plate with a slice of lemon and salt. The empty chair remains vacant for our comrades. Each item on the table has a special significance too, Jessica Knapp, Chair of the Town of Rochester Youth Commission, continued to explain, "a slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate; salt spilled upon the plate, symbolic of the families' tears as they wait for word."

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