ITHACA, N.Y. — More than 100 people in the Newfield Community gathered along Main Street to cheer on a Memorial Day parade and honor those who have died in military service to the country.
The celebration started at Newfield High School with former student and Marine Robin Parks Briggs featured as the guest speaker. From the school, first responders from throughout the area joined people from community staples such as the Newfield Public Library, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Finger Lakes Fife and Drum Corps for the half-mile march to the Woodlawn Cemetery.
There, a ceremony was held and a wreath was placed on the grave of Benjamin “Rush” McCallaster, a Newfield native who served in the the Civil War.
Amanda Birch, who is on the Newfield Memorial Day Committee, said it’s important for people to come together on Memorial Day.
She said the committee got the parade going again in 2014 and, with help from the town historian Alan Chaffee, was able to find all the former service members in the cemetery. Their graves were marked with flags by the local Cub Scouts on Friday.
“I feel like it’s a way to give back to the community and our roots,” she said.
Sue Schults, also on the committee, said the ceremony serves as a way for people young and old to come together for a common cause and to build relationships.
“Every community want to foster that,” Schults said.