The Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council says "Thank you" for a memorable Memorial Day 2013. It was a picture perfect day to salute our veterans and remember those who have sacrificed for our freedom.
The council wants to thank everyone who participated or attended this year's Memorial Day services and parade.
We appreciate your involvement and support in honoring our veterans on this day.
OBSERVER photo by Diane Chodan
Ray Warlikowski salutes during the placement of the wreaths ceremony on Memorial Day in Dunkirk.
This year's Memorial Day services and parade were dedicated in memory of Joseph C. Ricotta, 1934-2012, and Peter P. Chudzik Jr., 1917-2012. Both men were members of the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council.
The 2013 Parade Marshal was Jack Sievert, DJVC Commander. The co-parade marshals were Leonard Catalano, Special Affairs Service Officer; L. James Hurley, DJVC and Veterans Affairs Service Officer; Michael Maslach, DJVC 1st Vice Commander, Trustee and Disabled American Veterans Commander and Richard Makuch, DJVC Vice Commander and Trustee, Honor Guard Commander.
To all of our city officials, Police Department, fire officials and parade committee who worked diligently with us, we thank you. City police and fire police provided excellent coverage of our entire route to keep our public safe.
A special thank you is extended to our Honorable Mayor Anthony J. Dolce; Councilwoman-at-Large, Stephanie Kiyak; First Ward Councilman Michael Michalski; Second Ward Councilman William Rivera; Third Ward Councilman Adelino Gonzalez; Fourth Ward Councilman Stacy Szukala; City Clerk Lacey Lawrence; Police Chief David Ortolano; Police Captain, K. Kaus; Fire Chief Keith Ahlstrom; Fire Police Director, Don Velzy; Anthony Gugino, Streets/Parks Dept.; City Assessors Office Thomas Mleczko; OBSERVER Publisher John D'Agostino and the entire OBSERVER Staff;
Special recognition to this year's grand marshal, Andrew Dziduch, World War II and Korean War Veteran, U.S. Navy 1944-1946; Master-of-Ceremonies D'Agostino, parade commentator David Rowley, WDOE News Director; Parade captain Raymond Warlikowski, DJVC, Trustee and Past Commander Chautauqua County VFW.
1st Division Marshal Mr. David Dow, DJVC Trustee, Sgt.-at-Arms & Assistant Honor Guard Commander.
2nd Division Marshal Mr. Edziu Kaus, DJVC Trustee, & Honor Guard Firing Squad.
3rd Division Marshal Mr. Jack Hood, DJVC Adjutant & American Legion Post 62 Vice Commander.
4th Division Marshal Mr. Keith Ahlstrom, City of Dunkirk Fire Chief
We were honored to have the following dignitaries pay tribute to our Veterans: Principal Speaker, Lt. Christopher Wilson, USCG Sea Partners Campaign; Principal Guest Speaker Charles St. George, USS Alaska (CB-1); guest speaker, Brian Schneider, MSgt. USMC (Ret.); and guest speaker John Fedyszyn, Vietnam Veteran USMC.
Invocation was read by the Rev. Walter Werbicki and Benediction read by Dr. Robert Gage; Sandra Tapasto, DJVC Chaplain, read a prayer.
A sincere Thank You to the participating Honor Guards in this year's Service and Parade; Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council Honor Guard consisting of David Huels, DJVC Honor Guard Liaison Officer and Trustee; Thomas Rugani, DJVC Honor Guard; Kenneth DeLong, Armorer DJVC; Ron Kulpa, DJVC Quartermaster & Honor Guard; Ed Perez, DJVC Honor Guard.
SSG Joseph Gullo III driving Armored Vehicle with encased American Flag honoring all fallen Veterans. POW/MIA Flags and Vale of Tears supporting the National Colors.
American Legion Post 62 all Veterans Honor Guard, D. Butch Piglowski, Post 62 Commander.
Officers and Veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, Global War on Terror, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
Professional Fire Fighters Local 616 Honor Guard and ELKS BPO 922 Flag Review celebrating their 151st year.
Special Guests: Mr. David Ptak, Gen Mgr. Applebee's Williamsville, N.Y.; Mr. John George, Mgr. TGIF's of Pittsburgh, Pa.
For providing donated transportation for our city officials, dignitaries and veterans, we thank Paul's Limousine Service; CARTS arranged by Mr. Paul Abram, Mgr.; Mr. Michael Wunder driver and host; Mrs. Carol Hood, Department of Defense (Ret.); Mr. & Mrs. Larry Dietzen; Fedyszyn and LeRoy Foster.
A special thank you to Hannah Wentz for her presentation of the National Anthem and closure of service with "God Bless America." We extend Thanks to our locally renowned musicians for their presentation of Echo Taps, Barney Kuzara and Shawn Ebert.
Recognition is given to the following organizations, clubs, stores, restaurants and individuals that donated monies/candies to make Memorial Day 2013 a wonderful & memorable day: Applebee's of Williamsville, Mr. David Ptak Gen. Mgr.; Capt. David Banach, USN (Ret.); Casale Plumbing & Heating; Clark & Whipple Attorneys At-Law; Columbus Club of Dunkirk, Officers, Board of Directors and Members; Copy Boy of Dunkirk; Dollar General, L. McCall, Mgr.; Dom Polski club, Officers, Board of Directors and Members; Judge Walter Drag; PDubs Pizza Wings & Things; Kirks Jewelers & Gifts; Dr. James Foley, DDS; Knights of Columbus, Officers, Board of Directors and Members; Kosciuszko Polish Home, Officers, Board of Directors and Members; Lakeside Club of Dunkirk, Officers, Board of Director and Members; Loyal Order of the Moose 89, Officers, Board of Directors and Members; Moniuszko Social club, Officers, Board of Directors and Members; Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, Officers, Board of Directors and Members; P&G Foods of Dunkirk, Mr. & Mrs. Gary Damico, Proprietors; Save-A-Lot; Sons of American Legion Sq. 62; Tops, Mr. E. Armstrong Mgr.; Walgreen, Mr. G. Laskey, Mgr.; Walmart, Mr. Brad Balentine, Mgr.;
Additional thank you to Mr. Gary Haase, President of Dunkirk Little League, who orchestrates bringing in hundreds of Little Leaguers, Thank You for this striking addition to our Parade.
To our Parade Committee for all their assistance in organizing this year's events; to our speakers for their meaningful and well delivered speeches; to our entire Parade Staff, a heartfelt job well done from the DJVC for making Memorial Day 2013 a most memorable day.
Sincere Thanks to Mrs. Jan Wentz and her group from The Pillar of Fire Fellowship for their extensive cleanup at the parade's end.
May God Bless our veterans and keep our Great Nation Free.
Jack Sievert, a Dunkirk resident, is Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council commander and parade marshal.