Military sacrifices remembered on Memorial Day in Ballston Spa

(Photo Credit: Andrew Banas, NEWS10)

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local community hits the streets early to celebrate Memorial Day on Saturday.

Organizers say they hope the parade reminds neighbors what the holiday weekend is all about.

Whether it was folks from right here in our backyard or from across the country, everybody in parade floats in Ballston Spa today were all out to honor those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”

It’s a weekend for reflection. Remember who has come before.

“Memorial Day is for the people who served before us,” said Dale Keebler, who served in the Navy. “It’s actually a really amazing feeling.”

The annual Ballston Spa Memorial Parade is one that is near and dear to organizer Billie Jo Schweikert’s heart.

“It’s just amazing how everyone comes together to support our veterans, and active military members, and those that were lost,” Schweikert said.

She says it’s important to not take their sacrifices for granted.

“Without them we wouldn’t be free,” Schweikert said.

That includes people like Dale Keebler; a Florida native has served in the navy for nearly a decade.

“It’s awesome. I love seeing people come from all over the place. I’m from a really small town so being able to be surrounded by people from all over the country is just fantastic. I love it,” Keebler said.

He’s dedicated his career to the heroes who blazed the path for him.

“It’s part of our Navy creed to honor the people who served before us and follow in their footsteps. I think it’s a great way to do that,” Keebler said.

Parades like this are fun, but even more so they are important; a reminder that freedom isn’t free.

“I appreciate the sacrifice. I know how hard it has been for me in the last eight and a half years I’ve been in the Navy,” Keebler said. “I can only imagine how much more difficult it is for the people who serve in war zones or the Middle East and how difficult that is.”

Several Memorial Day events were held throughout the Capital Region in which service men and women were remembered, honored and celebrated for their sacrifices to the nation.

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