OWEGO, NY – Memorial Day commemorations will not go on in Owego as they have in previous years, but organizers have still found a way for the public to join them in honoring the dead.
This year, there will be no parade and no ceremony at the Tioga County Veterans Memorial.
However, there will be a Service of Remembrance held at local radio station WEBO that will be broadcast at 1330 AM and streamed on Facebook Live and YouTube.
The service begins at 10 AM on Monday with a reading of Tioga County’s 168 Fallen Heroes, recorded music by the Owego Free Academy marching band, a roll call of Tioga veterans who have died in the previous year and reflections of Gold Star Mother Barbara Bilbrey who lost her son Charlie in Iraq 11 years ago.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Chairman Jim Raftis says he hasn’t missed a Memorial Day in 55 years, and doesn’t intend to miss this one.
“We looked for other ways to do it. The best way is to go the modern way and to go radio. It’s broadcast on radio as it is, so why not go to the studio and do it there,” says Raftis.
Starting at 8:15 AM, the names of 5,000 deceased service members from Tioga will be read online.
Also, over 2,000 flags will be planted at grave sites by Boy Scouts, veterans, and other volunteers.