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Despite high heat on Monday morning, a large crowd of area residents followed the Oswego American Legion’s parade through downtown Oswego and into Oswego Township Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day service.
While the Oswego and Oswego East high schools both canceled their performances in the parade due to the heat, local scout troops wielding American flags and other patriotic paraphernalia led the way through the business district and to the cemetery, followed by a trail of parade spectators.
During the ceremony, John Schwartz, former Legion Post 675 commander, executive officer and trustee, spoke about the other segment of servicemen and women that Memorial Day recognizes – those who are declared missing in action, or whose remains are never found.
“We must also remember those who remain unaccounted for,” Schwartz said, citing the U.S. Department of Defense, which counts 87,606 American soldiers as missing in action.
“These symbols are to remind us all to keep up due diligence ... for these soldiers,” Schwartz said. “As we know, locating and returning these soldiers will bring long-awaited peace of mind for their families.”
Army Spc. Shawn Sadler, a member of Oswego High School’s Class of 2010, laid a commemorative wreath on the cemetery’s memorial statue, which was followed by a 21-gun salute from the Oswego Police Department Honor Guard, and a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Songs of the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces followed to conclude the ceremony.