REMEMBERING THEIR SACRIFICE: Rochester gets ready to honor its heroes

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Left, a lone veteran walks the Fields of Honor last Memorial Day Weekend. At right, a Patton Tank is lowered onto the grounds of the American Legon Post 7 on Wednesday. (Common photo/Rochester Voice file; Tank photo/Courtesy)

ROCHESTER - The spirit of Memorial Day Weekend is beginning to blossom in the Lilac City with the arrival of a Patton Tank at the Rochester American Legion Post 7 and the erecting today of some 550 American flags on the Rochester Common honoring veterans, including 200 flags with a black cross on them that commemorate the sacrifice of members of the armed services who died fighting for our country.

The flags will begin to be placed throughout the Common around 8:30 a.m. today, said Jeanne Grover, president of the nonprofit Voucher for Veterans and organizer of the Field of Honor weekend.

Grover said on Thursday that the entire complement of flags available for presentation has sold out thanks to generous contributions from Holy Rosary Credit Union and Dover Chevrolet.

The Field of Honor will remain up through Monday.

Meanwhile, the American Legion on Thursday welcomed an authentic Patton Tank to its front lawn near a flag display honoring all of our armed forces branches.

Post 7 business manager Mary Chaloux said the tank arrived on Thursday to a fanfare of local attention. She said the logistics of getting the 50-ton fighting machine onto its pad near the entrance to the Legion on Eastern Avenue was a daunting task but they got it done safely.

The tank now at the Legion had been in use at Fort Hood in Texas before being decommissioned at Camp Keys in Augusta, Maine.

The Patton tank and its variants have been key military assets since the 1950s when they were used during the Korean War. More recently they have been used in Mideast military operations. The M60 Patton tank, built in the 1960s, is still in use in 19 countries around the world, with some 5,000 still in use, according to Wikipedia.

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