Celebrate Commemorate Memorial Day 2010

WATERLOO – One is a robust, outdoorsman, President of the United States. The other is a quiet, behind-the-scenes businessman, leader in his church and civic organizations.Both have worked tirelessly to preserve sites of historic significance for all Americans.It will be a bully of a time when the Waterloo Library and Historical Society hosts the opening event of Celebrate Commemorate – an evening with President Teddy Roosevelt and Louis LeBrun, the recipient of the 2010 Welles Award. The event will begin at 5:30 pm. Friday, May 28, at the Waterloo Library on East Williams Street.“We are honored to have a US President talk to us about his view of the Civil War, the conflict that started Memorial Day,” said Society President Bill Sigrist.Tickets, at $12, benefit the restoration fund of the Library and Historical Society. The event will be an opportunity for the public to see the newly renovated stained glass windows. Visitors also will have an opportunity to have their portraits taken with President Roosevelt by local photographer Lori Duprey.LeBrun will be honored with a wine and cheese reception, courtesy of Eleven Lakes Winery and Muranda Cheese. Following the reception, Gib Young as President Theodore Roosevelt, will discuss events of his time, including women’s suffrage and the Civil War, in Fatzinger Hall. Members of Roosevelt’s family fought on both sides of the conflict.The Henry C. Welles Award honors a citizen of Waterloo, who through tireless effort and many hours of uncompensated time, has made Waterloo a better place to live, work, worship, understand and enjoy. LeBrun was a trustee of the historical society for many years and devoted hundreds of hours to repair and upgrade to the Memorial Day building. He also has been involved Celebrate/Commemorate as cochair of the antique car show on Main Street since its inception. LeBrun served for many years as a lecturer and Eucharistic minister at Waterloo’s St. Mary’s Church and was very involved in creating the rosary shrine in St. Mary’s cemetery. He was a long-time businessman and owned several car dealerships in the Town of Waterloo before his retirement.The National Memorial Day Museum will be having a grand opening of our 2010 exhibit entitled, “The Korean War-The Forgotten War?” during the Celebrate/Commemorate weekend. The exhibit, in addition to giving an overview of the Korean War and endeavoring to answer the title’s question, will focus on five of Seneca County’s finest who were either killed in action, missing and presumed dead, or prisoners of war. These five heroes represent all those from around the United States who suffered the same fate in this conflict. A video presentation on the Korean War, from the vaults of the National Archives, will also be offered for those wishing a multi-media experience. This exhibit, in addition to our museum’s many permanent exhibits telling the history and meaning of Memorial Day, will be open until December 15, 2010. You’re likely to run into a president – or two – wherever you turn during Celebrate Commemorate. John Bayliss will return as President Abe Lincoln and this year he will be joined by Gib Young as President Theodore Roosevelt.On Thursday, resident Roosevelt will meet school children and present awards to the winners of the annual essay contest at Waterloo High School auditorium at 1:15 pm.Both presidents will participate in the Freedom Parade at 11 a.m. followed by a Presidential Press Conference at the National Memorial Day Museum at 1 pm Saturday. They will take questions from the press and public, especially about their work for equality for all. Both men were familiar with the dangers of office, since both were shot while President.Lincoln, our 16th President, served during the Civil War and is credited with freeing the slaves and working to preserve the Union. He will deliver the Gettysburg Address from the steps of the National Memorial Day Museum at 2 p.m. before he visits the troops at the Civil War encampment on Oak Island.Roosevelt, our 26th President, is credited with establishing the National Park Service, breaking up trusts and ensuring the construction of the Panama Canal. He will speak on the importance of the National Park Service at the M’Clintock House at 2 p.m. Saturday and will go to Lafayette Park where he will pose for pictures with children who bring their cameras and teddy bears.On Sunday, Roosevelt will be at the M’Clintock House from 1-2 pm and will ride the train with Merry Mischief at 3 pm. Tickets for the train, at $15 each, may be purchased at www.fingerlakesscenicrailway.comThe 11th annual Celebrate Commemorate event will be held May 28-30 in Waterloo, the Birthplace of Memorial Day. For more information about the events, go to www.waterloony.com.The 144th consecutive commemoration of Memorial Day will be on Sunday, May 30. It will include breakfasts, prayer services, and an evening parade, coordinated by the American Legion.

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