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Hundreds attend Memorial Day Parade in Utica

By CAROLINE GABLE

UTICA, N.Y.(WKTV) - Memorial day was once called "Decoration Day," and Monday downtown Utica was decorated with a patriotic spirit. The annual Utica Memorial Day Parade along Genesee Street, draws everyone out from Vietnam Veterans to 5-year-olds wearing red, white and blue.

For some Memorial Day means a BBQ, a trip to the beach, or even shopping, but here in Utica many gathered to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, that honors those who died in service to our country. The young and old waved flags as songs that make up the soundtrack of our country played.

The very first Memorial Day is believed to have started in New York State, less than a 100 miles away from Utica in Waterloo back in the 1860's. If anything, time has only strengthened the patriotism felt downtown in Utica. Though the country has sustained many scars since the very first Memorial Day, those who serve our country continue to battle for the cause of freedom, and on Monday those individuals were honored.

Tracy Wrobel, a Deerfield resident, decided to bring out her son and daughter to take in the parade with a large American flag," It is important for them to learn to respect tradition, and I think it's important for the older men... the people who have served in wars to have people standing here on the side and showing that they appreciate all they've done for us."

Many veterans along the parade route only ask that their fellow veterans who couldn't be here, be remembered.

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