by Susan Mikula Campbell
On Monday, Americans will honor men and women who died while serving this country.
Solemn ceremonies will be held in both the Town of Niagara and in Wheatfield.
•The Town of Niagara Lions and Lioness Clubs will host their annual Memorial Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the Witmer Road Cemetery on Witmer Road in the Town of Niagara. The ceremony will include the placing of a memorial wreath next to the monument by the presidents of the Lions and Lioness Clubs. The flag ceremony will be conducted by the Western New York Corps of Cadets and assisted by the Girl Scout Brownie Troop 70008. The color guard will be provided by the Conrad Kania Detachment of the Marine Corps League. The Marine Corps League also will perform a live gun salute and play taps.
Opening and closing prayers will be offered by Pastor Ron Maines of Forestview Church of God. The principal speaker will be U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Browngriffin.
Other speakers will be Joseph Rizzotto, veteran and commander of the Fredrick F. Cadille Post of the American Legion; Angelo Onevelo, veteran and Lions Club chairperson; and Michael Hoplight, veteran and Lions Club member.
•Wheatfield's ceremony also is at 11 a.m. Monday, May 27, organized by American Legion Post 1451 and held at the war memorial at the town's Highway Garage on Ward Road. Speakers will include Niagara County Legislature Chairman Bill Ross and Wheatfield Town Supervisor Bob Cliffe. Karen Foote will sing the National Anthem.
After the ceremony, chowder and hot dogs will be sold at the Legion Post.
•Also on Memorial Day weekend, Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown will showcase the region's military history from the 17th through the 20th centuries with a special event called "Soldiers through the Ages."
Activities will kick off Saturday at 10 a.m. with a colors ceremony presented by the Lewiston-Porter High School Air Force Junior ROTC. This ceremony will raise the fort's reproduction 24-by-28-foot 1812 flag in commemoration of the American attack on neighboring Fort George in 1813.
Other activities will include military music featuring the fort's Regimental Field Music, artillery and musket demonstrations and a special display of World War II and Korean War-era vehicles by the Military Vehicle Museum of Greater Rochester.
Visitors will explore period military camps, experience soldiers' rations through time and witness the evolution of military weaponry from the days of LaSalle through World War II.
Living history programs will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. On Memorial Day, at 11 a.m., the Lake Ontario Post 313 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold a special memorial service at the Fort Niagara Military Cemetery.
•The Buffalo Zoo will offer a "High Five for the Military" discount on Memorial Day, Monday May 27.
Members of the United States military and up to four guests will be admitted to the Buffalo Zoo for $5 total. A valid military ID must be presented at the admission gates.