Memorial Day in Oxford
Itinerary and pictures
9 a.m. - The parade lines up at the Oxford American Legion Post # 376, at 17 South Washington Avenue.
9:30 a.m. - The patriotic parade steps off, led by the Post #376 Color Guard and Rifle Squad, Legionnaires, Sons of the American Legion (SAL's), and the Auxiliary unit 376. Just behind the marching Auxiliary, is “Miss Poppy,” Junior Auxiliary member, Allison Beckwith who waves to the crowd from the "Poppy Mobile." Veterans ride in the NYS Veterans Home bus.
As always, the parade will feature the Mayor and Supervisor of Oxford, the Village of Oxford Fire Department, the Fire Department Explorers, the Fire Dept. Auxiliary, and the Brisben Volunteer Fire Department. The parade will also feature the Oxford Academy and Central High School’s, ‘Pride of the Valley,’ the Blackhawk Marching Band. The band will be followed by marching Girl Scouts, the Daisy Troop, OYSP, the Youth Center and 4-H members.
Along the parade route, red crepe paper poppies are distributed by Oxford Auxiliary members and volunteers, in exchange for contributions to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans.
A salute honoring those who died at sea is given at the Main Street Bridge (that crosses over the Chenango River). Oxford Legion’s Auxiliary president performs the wreath ceremony, tossing a memorial garland into the Chenango River, followed by a rifle salute.
The parade turns north, up the hill on Albany Street, to the Riverview Cemetery with a ceremony and speeches honoring the memory of the departed and a rifle salute. The Legion Commander gives a greeting, and the Roll Call of the Deceased is read by the Post Chaplain. Officiating clergy reads a prayer.
The Oxford American Legion Auxiliary introduces this year’s Girls’ State delegate and the American Legion Boys’ State delegates will also be introduced. Two (of the 3) elected delegates say the Pledge of Allegiance and the Gettysburg Address. The principle address is presented by a guest speaker. The Oxford Academy and Central High School Marching Band provides patriotic music under the direction of Corey Riley, High School Band Instructor, and Assistant Marching Band Director, Jackie Riley.
Allison sings the National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Riverview Cemetery ceremony and at the NYS Veterans' Home.
11:00 a.m. - The Oxford Academy Marching Band marches in the McDonough Memorial Day Parade.
11:00 a.m. - Following the Riverview Cemetery ceremony, Legion members visit the NYS Veterans’ Home residents. The color guard, selected clergy and guest speakers hold a memorial service in the recreation room. The Home’s Director of Activities, Heeyoun Cho, hosts the program.
Lastly, (around noon) the color guard goes to the Warn Ten Broeck Cemetery (seven miles south of Oxford), to place a wreath and to salute the deceased.
11:00 a.m. - After the parade, there is a fund raising chicken BBQ at the Oxford Legion by the SAL's famed "Tim and Tim and the Team." (The BBQ pit is on the Route 12 side/parking lot).
(Pictures from 2013)