A ceremony to honor Don Holleder, an American patriot, will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 17 at 515 Ridge Road, Webster
Holleder’s hometown, according to the military, was Webster. He was a graduate of Aquinas, and his mother moved to Webster from Irondequoit when he was enrolled at West Point in the mid-1950s.
The Army football game programs from his junior and senior years list his hometown as Webster. His mother rests in Webster Union Cemetery; she passed away in 1987.
Holleder was a football all-American at West Point in his junior year while playing the end position. He was asked by the coach, Col. Blaik, to transition to the quarterback position for his senior year. He led Army to an upset of Navy before 102,000 spectators in Philadelphia and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated that week.
Since 2001, there has been an award offered to any youth and/or high school football team across the country to participate in at no cost. It is called the Black Lion Award. The award is in honor of Holleder. He was an operations officer in the 28th Infantry Regiment known as the Black Lions. Hundreds of high schools are annual participants, including his alma mater of West Point.
This ceremony will further disclose the criteria for the Black Lion Award to any young man who attends. The ceremony will honor Holleder, who died Oct. 17, 1967, in Vietnam. It was on the evening of Oct. 17, 1967, that Don’s mother received a knock on her front door at 618 Lake Road from a Western Union Telegram delivery with the news her child died in Vietnam. Holleder was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony also will remember the other men from Webster who died in the war.
Confirmed to be in attendance are Holleder’s two oldest daughters; his roommate, Ransom ‘Jerry’ Amlong for all four years at West Point; Assemblyman Mark Johns; active duty members of the Army and veterans of foreign wars; and Webster Boy Scouts. The community is encouraged to attend. The Patriot Guard will deliver a special American flag that was flown on Capitol Hill on Aug. 3, which would have been his 83rd birthday.