This weekend was another exceptional weekend in Jamestown.
I have to say the Veteran's Memorial Park dedication program was simply great. For those of you who missed this dedication program, Ron Cotton did a great job - and so might I add all those who were involved. At 9:45 a.m., the American flag was lowered at the former Veteran's Park at the corner of East Third and East Second streets across from the high school. There was a procession from this location west on Third Street to the location of the new park at West Third Street at Harding and Logan streets. What a great new location for this new park.
There was a ceremony with special guest speakers state Sen. Catharine Young, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, Mayor Sam Teresi and the host of this ceremony was Ron Cotton. Others involved were the Jamestown Municipal Band, Gretta Archer, the Rev. Darrell Duffy, the Rev. Susan Anslow-Williams and William Servis. Service organizations involved were Daughters of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 53, AMVETS Post 726, Veterans of Modern Warfare, and Vietnam Veteran's of America. Top Hat Entertainment also took part. The Jamestown Police Department, the Parks Department and the DPW also had roles in this service. It was very well attended and while rain threatened early in the morning, the skies cleared, and the sun did shine to bless this ceremony.
I truly believe many forget the importance of our veterans in both times of war and peace. The ceremony gave people time to think and reflect on the true meanings of our veterans along with those currently serving. We are truly blessed in what we have. On Friday I was having a conversation with Ron Cotton and he made one statement that made me think even more during the service.
"Almost every family in the country has been touched by a family member serving in some capacity in the military representing the United States of America," he said.
I think I was impressed with the speakers as they delivered their messages coming from deep within side each of them-not just talking to a crowd but feeling what they were saying. This park will mean a great deal to Jamestown and those it represents. While the dedication ceremony is complete there is still construction to be finished - donations to help with this construction can be made to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation at any time. Please support this great endeavor in honor of people who have and do care so much about what we have here in America.
There is one other event I wish to talk about. Also on Saturday there was a retirement party and ceremony for Jim Berry who was the executive director of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. This party was held at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute on Curtis Street located adjacent to JCC. I feel I have known Jim for many years now. He did a great and very difficult job in his guidance of the Peterson Institute over these past few years. Operating an organization of this sort is not an easy task, while also furthering the mission and goals of this same organization. RTPI has national prominence, as well as, in some cases international implications. No small task.
In addition to RTPI, Jim was very supportive of the community and all that has occurred here in Jamestown. I feel we all owe him a very big "thank you" for his years or work here in Jamestown, as well as all the other areas where he travelled representing RTPI and the city of Jamestown in Chautauqua County. We all wish the very best for Jim and his family as he takes some time to enjoy life in his retirement. Congratulations Jim.