Remembrance and Hope on the Genesee, Memorial Day, 2017

Remembrance and Hope on the Genesee, Memorial Day, 2017

James Christner (back) and Rich Hanford dropping roses. Memorial Day, 2017

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Memorial Day 5/30/16 Frank and Janet Lamb Sister Cities Bridge, Pedestrian bridge at Genesee Crossroads Park, Bragdon Place. From Memorial Day, Peace and Rembrance, and roses floating in the Genesee

In a ceremony begun after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, every Memorial Day people gather at the Frank and Janet Lamb Sister Cities pedestrian bridge at the Genesee Crossroads Park. There, witnesses read the names of soldiers and civilians killed in wars and drop roses — one for each victim — into the river.


James Christner (left) and Rich Hanford.

See 2016 Ceremony Memorial Day, Peace and Rembrance, and roses floating in the Genesee


Tom Moore

As explained by organizer Tom Moore, the event is not intended to be a contrast or opposition to the parade that takes place shortly afterward.

Instead, the ceremony is meant to provide another level of remembrance.  This year — like previous years — the ceremony is the same, except new victims are added to the list.  This year the names were of people who died in the current wars in Afghanistan and surrounding areas.


Tim McGowan

This year was Tim McGowan’s first ceremony. He had heard about the event on a church bulletin board.  Tom gave Tim two names on a card: Anais Tobar, First Lieutenant, age 25 and Nagar al-Awlaki an 8 year old girl.

Neither Tom nor Tim had more details about the two victims. As Tim said, we just need to know what they had in common: they died in the indignity and violence of war.


Anais Tobar, died July 18. 2016 in United Arab Emirites

When Tim dropped his two roses on to the river, he felt more deeply moved than he had anticipated.  He said the names of Anais Tobar and Nagar al-Awlaki on the cards he put in his wallet would be with him for ever.

Later, Tim and I learned that Anais Tobar from Miami had died in the United Arab Emerites on non-combat injuries on July 18, 2016.


Nagar al-Awalki, killed January 31st, 2017

Nagar al-Awalki was killed in the January 31st raid into Yemen.




Memorial Day, Peace and Remembrance, and roses floating in the Genesee

On the Memorial Day Parade and The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam

The long vigil for peace on the corner of East and Goodman

A pilgrimage of peace from Palmyra to Pittsford



About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY and Lake Affect Magazine.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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