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MARCELLUS | Come late spring, Marcellus is busy. In early June, the Olde Home Days parade takes place the Saturday — this year June 6 — of the three-day festival.

In late May, the village holds its annual Memorial Day ceremonies.

The day of the holiday, Monday, the village began to fill with people an hour before the parade. Residents and visitors filed in and out of First Cup and the brand new Eat More Sweets Bakery, which sold goods for only a dollar.

At the memorial in front of Marcellus United Methodist Church, dozens of American flags swung lightly with the breeze as the flagpole was set at half-mast. 

When 10 a.m. came around, the parade began at Driver Middle School on Reed Parkway. The path follows an infinity symbol, looping around

Whether the route is laid out that way on purpose, it seems to serve as a constant reminder of the thoughts of appreciation American citizens should have.

Representing the Marcellus Town Board were Supervisor Mary Jo Paul and Councilors Karen Pollard and Kevin O'Hara. Councilor John Scanlon donned his police uniform.

Mayor John Curtin and Trustee Sally Tallman represented the Marcellus Village Board of Trustees, while Trustee Patrick Cox joined the company of the Legionnaires.

While David Locastro of the Marcellus Board of Education, followed suit with the Legionnaires, Board of Education President Ryan Riefler was spotted in the crowd along with Superintendent Craig Tice and High School Principal John Durkee.

For the small town, the participation was immense among the government and school and business owners.

The Rev. Daniel Muscalino, of St. Francis Xavier Church in Marcellus, was the guest speaker. The priest and Bishop Ludden teacher admitted his modesty.

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"I was hesitant. I never served, and I was unsure if I was the right person," he said, noting the decision to speak took prayer and consideration. "But I have been served by them."

Muscalino reflected on the days growing up, remembering Memorial Day when it was also called Decoration Day. While flowers were planted by graves, he mentioned his taking notice of the flags and asking his parents what they symbolized.

When he was older, he specifically recalled his uncle's funeral and how the American flag was draped over the coffin.

As remembrance may yield some sadness with highlighting people lost, Muscalino noted that people should be pleased and thankful for their effort in protecting freedom.

To close, the priest recalled Franklin D. Roosevelt's acceptance speech in 1941, "The Four Freedoms" speech.

In the speech, Roosevelt said Americans have much to be appreciative about in those who fought, served and gave their lives.

"The freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world; freedom to worship any God in any way, everywhere in the world; freedom from want, which is translated to economic understandings; and freedom from fear, which is translated to reduction of armaments," the president's speech reads.

"We remember, and we say 'thank you,'" Muscalino said.

Following Muscalino, Michael Brown and Daniel Bowman, two Marcellus students recognized by winning the 2015 Marcellus Oratorical Contest, as selected by Durkee and Riefler.

The two students gave speeches commemorating the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination and reading the famous Bixby Letters. The speeches also expressed personal meaning behind Memorial Day, highlighting a personal and familial story.

The ceremony ended with the raising of the flag. Throughout the ceremony, the Marcellus High School marching band performed "Echo Taps," "This is My Country," "America the Beautiful" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."

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Skaneateles Journal reporter Christopher Malone can be reached at christopher.malone@lee.net or 282-2230. Follow him on Twitter @Skan_Malone.

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