First Posted: 5/22/2013
Memorial Day celebration first began with the war dead placed front and center. The holiday’s original name, Decoration Day, came from the day’s main activity: leaving flowers and flags at cemeteries.
But also the last Monday in May has come to mark the unofficial beginning of summer, with parades doused in red, white and blue, cookouts in the backyard and trips to the local campgrounds filling the long weekend.
For Dupont’s VFW Post 4909, American Legion Post 657 and the AMVETS Post 189 members, the central event is to pay respect and remember the fallen. Post members have begun one their busiest months with placement of over 600 flags at local cemeteries, selling poppies, the symbol of Memorial Day.
But their main focus is carrying on the tradition of setting up the display of 60 crosses which bear the names of all Dupont residenst who gave their lives in the line of duty. This display is located on the Memorial Lawn in front of the Dupont Municipal Building on Chestnut Street and the site of the day’s celebrations following the parade.
This tradition began over 20 years ago when George Legezdh, former Dupont mayor, police chief and veteran, wanted to find a way to commemorate Dupont’S fallen soldiers. He came up with the idea of making white wooden crosses with the name of each of Dupont’s deceased war heroes and placing them in front of the monument adjacent the municipal building. On Memorial Day, the ceremony included the reading of each name followed by the toll of a bell after each name is announced.
Legezdh passed away in 2009 but his time-honored idea continues through the help of the members of the VFW, American Legion and AMVETS. This year, Bernard McDonald, commander of AMVETS 189, and Gerard Guranri, AMVETS Adjutant Post 189, had the honor of placing the commemorative crosses.
Dupont’s memorial celebrations will be held on Monday, May 27 beginning with Post members and veterans conducting services at both Holy Mother of Sorrows and Sacred Heart of Jesus cemeteries. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. starting at the VFW Post on Main Street and continuing to the municipal building on Chestnut Street where services will be conducted at the Memorial Lawn. All are invited to attend the morning services and the parade. After the services, all are invited to the VFW Post for refreshments and the children are invited for hot dogs and soda at the Dupont Hose Company.
Dupont remembers its sons who made the ultimate sacrifice: Pvt. Joseph Motiska, Sgt. Barney F. White, Pvt. Frank Kotula, Spec 4 C Daniel R. Romanko, Sgt. Bernard Bryk, Lt. Col. Richard Berrettini, Pvt. Joseph Zureski, Pvt. Ronald Urbanski, Airman 2C Ronald E. Snopkowski, Seaman 1C John J. Rindos, Sgt Alex Rolek, Sgt. Sylvester V. Daley Lello, PFC Stephen Kundla, Staff Sgt. Edward Kadluboski, M. Sgt. Frank Celusniak, Sgt. Edward Barnak, Seaman Stanley Cebula, Cpl John J. Potorski, Pvt. Robert J. Volack, Staff Sgt. Peter J. Poremba, Seaman 2C Willard Koteck, PFC John Romanowski, PFC Henry A. Grabowski, T. Sgt Steve Stupak, Pvt. Andrew Kundla, Cpl Peter J. Knick-Bish, S. Sgt. John S. Opiela, Pvt. John Sroka, Pvt. John B. Kivak, T SGt. Stanley Karkut, T. SGt. Walter Plisga, Pvt. Frank Legezdh, Sgt. Ebon C. Morris, 1st Lt. Stanaley S. Zdun, Sgt. John Rainane-Ross, P 1C Edward W. Serafin, S Sgt. Edmund Lokuta, P 1C Peter Goyla,Jr., PVT 1C Edward W. Serafin, S. Sgt Edmund Lokuta, Seaman F C Jerome D. Chernefski, Pvt. FC Peter Loncala, Pvt Fc Walter Moskowitz, Seaman 2C Frank J. Ziantz, Pvt FC Jacob P. Vida, S Sgt Joseph J. Olejnick, PFC John Rokita, PFC John J. Kutza, Edward J. Satkkowski, Seaman 2C Frank K. Knick, Pvt. Michael Poka, Pvt. FC Michael Insogna, Pvt FC Albert Przybytek, Seaman 2C John E. Kuna, Pvt FC Thomas E. Kulick, Seaman 3 C Stephen J. Pramick, T Sgt. Raymond J. Rosato, Seaman 1C Edward J. Marsh, S. Sgt Stanley Wysokinski.