Warwick honors its service men and women

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    WARWICK-In spite of dire predictions of heavy rain, the May 30 Memorial Day ceremonies enjoyed picture-perfect weather. The day's events began with the traditional parade down Main Street and on to Warwick Cemetery. Grand Marshall Tom Gladitsch, a veteran of the Army Military Police during the Viet Nam War, and his wife, Marybeth, led the line of march. Col. James Stewart, the highest-ranking member of the well-known Warwick family of military servicemen, and his brothers marched with the color guard. At Warwick Cemetery, Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Mayor Michael Newhard and guest speakers state Sen. Thomas Morahan and Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt paid tribute to the fallen heroes of all the wars America has fought. Morahan, also a veteran, reminded those assembled that unlike Veterans Day, which honors all military servicemen and women, Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives. "Today is a special day," he said, "for those who did not return." He also said that he was grateful that so many young people were present. "We look like old men and we are," he said. "But those who served with us and lost their lives were youngsters when they said their last word which was usually, ‘Mama.'" The ceremonies at Warwick Cemetery were followed by services at St. Stephen's Cemetery, which were conducted by Father Michael McLoughlin, pastor of the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr. The parade then continued down Forester Avenue to the Firemen's Monument at Veterans Memorial Park where members of the Warwick Volunteer Fire Department conducted a memorial service which included the reading of the "Fireman's Prayer" by the Warwick Fire Department chaplain, the Rev. Chris Yount, pastor of United Methodist Church.