'Thank you' Is Not Enough

UTICA, May 28, 2013 – "Thank-you is not enough."

Those words by Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri perhaps summed up best the Memorial Day observance for the fallen as well as gratitude for all veterans for protecting America's freedoms.

The mayor spoke out at the kickoff of the six-monument wreath-laying ceremonies May 27 -- at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Oneida Square. Scores of veterans, kin and well-wishers gathered around the Civil War monument, where Palmieri and Utica City Court Judge placed a wreath.

"Under his wing, you shall seek refuge," declared retired Army Chaplain's Assistant Sgt. First Class Tim Morrell.

"Father," added retired Army Chaplain (Col.) Gary Howard, "we lift up before you …the men and women of the Armed Forces who gave their lives so graciously for our freedoms."

Coordinated by Utica Post 229 with a committee representing a variety of veterans organizations, the Memorial Day ceremonies moved next to three monuments on the Memorial Parkway -- Vietnam War, POW/MIA, and World War 1/World War II/Korean War -- before traveling to the Purple Heart Memorial Park in West Utica and finally to the All Veterans Monument at the main post office on Pitcher Street.

Chaplain Howard brought up the name of Vietnam vet and Post 229 member Frank Amerosa at the POW/MIA monument, noting Amerosa died two days earlier in a plane crash in Fulton County. A brain cancer patient, Amerosa was returning from New England aboard an Angel Flight. His wife Evelyn and pilot John Campbell also died when the plane went down in Ephratah.

Post 229 Commander Chris Urban welcomed the crowd to each monument and introduced the men and women who would lay the wreaths:

  • Gold Star Mother Mary Wheeler and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter Commander Tom Buono at the Vietnam War Memorial.
  • Utica Post Auxiliary President Roe Haggerty and World War II ex-POW Joe Rositano at the POW/MIA Monument.
  • Retired Navy Master Chief Mark Williamson (Memorial Day chairman), World War II veteran John Popeo, Vietnam War Air Force veteran Ira Cooperman and Vietnam War Army veteran Joe Fraccola, at the WWI/WWII/Korean War Monument.
  • Air Force veteran Shirley Eadline, Purple Heart Chapter Commander Darrel Shanne, Congressman Richard Hanna, and Utica School Superintendent Bruce Karam, at Purple Heart Memorial Park.
  • VVA Commander Tom Buono, Congressman Hanna and Joe Fraccola of Military Order of the Purple Heart, at the All Veterans Memorial.

Utica Post hosted a luncheon following the ceremonies. Prior to beginning the six-monument tour, the post and Auxiliary held a ceremony at Utica Post 229, with Peggie Kohler and Eleanor King placing the wreath.

Parade a Tribute
To Ultimate Sacrifice

Parade Photos

Wreath-Laying Photos

Judge Eannace and Mayor Palmieri
Judge Ralph Eannace and Mayor Robert Palmieri place wreath at Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
Color Guard
Utica Post 229 Color Guard presented the colors at each monument.