By Kellen M. Quigley

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to the summer, many times involving family picnics, great shopping deals and a day off.
Before you pull out those white pants and head to the mall, take a few moments to reflect on the true reason for this holiday: remembrance.
This weekend, make sure your American flag is flying, immerse yourself in patriotism and take a few moments to reflect on the lives that have been lost and the freedoms we all enjoy.
Springville’s annual Memorial Day Parade is scheduled for Monday, May 28. The parade will form on South Buffalo Street by the log cabin and Veteran’s Park at 9:45 a.m. and will proceed north on Buffalo Street at 10 a.m. to Main Street and turn on West Main Street to Maplewood Cemetery.
In Gowanda, the Legion will also host a free breakfast for veterans from 7 to 9 a.m., which is also when the lineup will take place for the 20th annual Ride to Remember.
A rider meeting will be held at 9 a.m. along with a moment of remembrance. Kickstands up at 9:15 a.m.; the ride starts at the Gowanda American Legion Post and will travel through Collins to Springville and up Route 240 to Sprague Brook Park in Glenwood, where a ceremony will be held at 11 a.m.
The ceremony will commence with placement of the colors by the AMVETS Post 219 Honor Guard at 11 a.m.  It is suggested that people gather at the Memorial Grove prior to 10:30 a.m., at which time many motorcycle riders will arrive from the American Legion in East Aurora and the American Legion in Gowanda.
Gowanda Harley-Davidson will host their Ride to Remember event in conjunction with the ceremony, beginning at the American Legion Post #409 and 100 Legion Dr. in Gowanda. Veterans can enjoy a free breakfast before heading to Sprague Brook.
Beginning at the entrance of the park and leading to the Memorial Grove, the road will be lined on either side with over 1,000 American Flags placed by the committee on Sunday prior to the ceremony. As they make their way to the Memorial Grove, attendees will pass beneath a giant American Flag.
To honor those Erie County citizens who were killed in the Vietnam conflict, the ceremony will be held in front of the wall where their names are engraved. The solemn ceremony will honor all U.S. Citizens who gave their lives in service to our country.
Many years ago, the trees that are on either side of the grove were planted, one for each Vietnam Veteran from Erie County who gave their lives for us, by Schichtel’s Nursery, Inc.
As the holiday weekend unfolds, remember our fallen heroes.