Gates to hold annual Memorial Day Observance

Stock photo.

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Adrian Hale will be the guest speaker at the 2021 Town of Gates Memorial Day Observance scheduled for 10 a.m. May 31 at the Gates Community Center, 1605 Buffalo Road. 

The American flag will be raised in a First Colors ceremony upon a town-landmark flagpole that was preserved and relocated to the Community Center’s front lawn.

As a Marine, Hale made two combat deployments in Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan and served with the U.S. Air Force Reserves. The Rochester native graduated from Monroe Community College and Yale University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He is senior manager of workforce/economic development and education at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.

The flagpole, a town landmark, originally displayed a 20-by-30 foot American flag at the former Perkins Restaurant on Chili Avenue. The flag was stolen on Oct. 23, 2004, and replaced in a ceremony at the restaurant on Jan. 27, 2005.

The restaurant closed a number of years ago and the property was sold. Gates Town Historian William Gillette and Supervisor Cosmo Giunta sought to preserve the flagpole. Giunta reached out to property owners DLC Management, which donated the flagpole to the town with the understanding that it would be relocated to the Community Center.

The rededication will be led by Gillette and Monroe County Legislator Frank Allkofer, R-4th District.

The flag will be raised for the first time on the preserved flagpole by Cmdr. Chuck Macaluso and President Val Gatto from Vietnam Veterans Chapter No. 20, and Cmdr. John Roth from American Legion Post No. 98.

The invocation and benediction will be offered by the Rev. William Leone, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. “God Bless America” will be sung by resident Dalton Letta. The Gates Police Keystone Club Pipes and Drums will perform musical selections.

The observance will conclude with the traditional presentation of roses by representatives from dozens of community organizations.