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 Batavia Memorial Day Parade to Honor All Who Serve Our Country

 
Organizers are getting set for the Batavia Memorial Day Parade.
 
Former councilman Bob Bialkowski says it will be honoring men and women who died serving our country, but also first responders and living veterans.
 
“This is all about the children. This is really important,” he said. “This is what most veterans fought for: for the children in our country to have a better life, to live with freedoms we know. This is what Memorial Day’s all about. We certainly want to remember all the veterans and all the first responders.”
 
The Grand Marshall is John Balbick, who Bialkowski says fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Veterans who served in WWII and Korea as well as the original Batavia National Guard which was formed around 1950 are also expected to participate.
 
The parade starts 10 a.m. at East Towne Plaza and will go down to St. Joe’s. All veterans, even uniformed, are invited to walk.
 
There will be floats, the Batavia High band as well as roadsters with several Genesee County non-profits participating.
 
Organizers invite residents to line up along Main Street to show their appreciation – and to get there early.
 
They’ve provided a limo bus for anyone who needs assistance getting back to their cars at the East Towne Plaza.

Local Politicians Commemorate Memorial Day
 
Local politicians are honoring veterans this Memorial Day weekend.
 
First, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer were on hand in Attica this morning for the official dedication of Route 98 as the Genesee-Orleans Veterans Memorial Highway.
 
“As the ranking member of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee, the son of a WWII Merrill’s Marauders fighter and as a veteran myself, I thought it was only fitting that we remind the citizens of this great state that we’re able to do what we’re doing right now as a result of what they’ve done for us,” Hawley said.
 
The law was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year to name the highway and both Ranzenhofer and Hawley thought there was no better time to hold the dedication than Memorial Day weekend.
 
“This is a very important reminder of the ultimate sacrifice that our veterans have made for all of us, to keep us free, to keep us safe, to let us live in an unfettered society where we can go about our business without government interference,” Senator Ranzenhofer said. “Assemblyman Hawley and I thought it was very important tribute to be able to make this statement.”
 
It’s located at the southern border of county at the Alexander-Attica line. There’s another dedication sign at a different portion of Route 98 on the northern border.

Several local veterans were in attendance for the sign’s unveiling.
 
Also, Congressman Chris Collins has introduced legislation called the Care for our Heroes Act. It would ensure veterans get the end-of-life care they deserve by mandating at the all veterans are eligible for VA hospice care.
 
Current statute does not require the VA to cover hospice care for veterans who has not enrolled in the VA system in the past for prior care.
 
Collins says he is also supporting an effort to increase troop pay.
 
Stafford Resident Inducted into NYS Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame
 
United States Army Specialist 5th Class James B. Neider has been selected – by State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer – as a New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame Honoree for the 61st District for his gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces and service to the community.
 
Neider volunteered to serve in 1968 after receiving a Bachelor degree in Education. He served in Germany with the 3rd Armored Division’s 503rd Military Police Company.
 
“While Jim first enlisted decades ago, he remains committed to serving his country to this day. As a founder of the Joint Veterans’ Honor Guard of Genesee County and with his efforts to locate a National Military Cemetery to the region, Jim’s service to his fellow veterans and their families is unwavering,” said Ranzenhofer. “Jim exemplifies compassion, advocacy and dedication to our local veterans.”
 
“It has been such an honor to travel to the State Capitol and join so many distinguished veterans as a member of the State Senate’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Thank you to Senator Ranzenhofer for nominating me. Working with veterans is all that I do, and this honor serves as inspiration to continue advocating for veterans in Genesee County,” said Neider.
 
Neider earned a Master’s of Science in Education on the G.I. Bill upon completing his military service, then started teaching at an elementary school in Alexander. He retired in 2000 with 30 years of service. He also served as Batavia Town Justice for 14 years. Today, he is an instructor for the American Legion’s Flags for First Graders program and a coordinator for the annual Four Chaplains’ Sunday.
 
Neider has received numerous awards for his distinguished service: the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Expert M-14 Badge. He has also served in numerous leadership positions, including: Chairman, Genesee County Joint Veterans’ Council; President, Genesee Veterans’ Club; Board member, Genesee Veterans’ Support Network; Chairman, Batavia Memorial Day Committee; and Treasurer, Genesee County War Memorial Fund.
 
Jim and his wife, Mary Ann, live in the Town of Stafford.
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