As a prelude to their 10-year reunion, several members of Cattaraugus Central's 2000 graduating class gathered to honor the memory of friend and fellow classmate, Jason Denfrund.
Sergeant Denfrund was killed while serving in Iraq in 2006, and a memorial in his honor was erected near the entrance to Liberty Park Cemetery.
For nearly an hour, the former students reminisced, trading stories about the guy who was up for fun any time, but especially when it involved playing football.
Members of the Cattaraugus Central Class of 2000 gather around the monument memorializing their classmate, Sergeant Jason Denfrund, who died in 2006 during the Iraq War. Airman First Class James George, in Cattaraugus for a few days of leave, attended the informal service in uniform to pay his respects to a comrade in arms.
Several brought flowers to place at the memorial stone, the colors reflecting the fact that the Class of 2000 was the final one to graduate from Cattaraugus Central School prior to its "merger" with Little Valley Central. The red and white bouquets echoed the colors of the "Big Red" football jersey that Jason always wore so proudly.
Although the convening "twenty-somethings" later went on to picnic and joke about a host of other, happier subjects, it is interesting to note that paying their respects to their fallen classmate topped their agenda that day.