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Children continue father’s flag tradition in Ogdensburg

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OGDENSBURG — After the paradegoers dispersed and before the barbecues began, residents gathered at the Ogdensburgh Cemetery to spend a few Memorial Day moments honoring fallen soldiers.

They stood among the graves, many of which were decorated with newly placed American flags to mark the resting places of those who served in the military.

Frederick F. Corrice used to walk from grave to grave every Memorial Day, planting these little flags to honor the buried soldiers. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, he would spend hours visiting several area graveyards, often bringing his children with him.

“When we were younger we used to walk with him and help him set up the flags,” said Mr. Corrice’s oldest daughter, Lori A. Mitchell.

Mr. Corrice died in 1990, but his children still visit the cemetery every Memorial Day to honor their father and thank all Ogdensburg veterans, both alive and dead.

“He made us promise to come every year,” Mrs. Mitchell said.

“We try to pass it down to our kids. It’s not just about picnics,” said Charles F. Corrice, Frederick’s son.

The festivities began at 10 a.m. Monday with the annual parade up State Street. Families lined the road, watching from porches or tailgates, to see the marching bands and fire trucks under a cloudless sky. Eager children grabbed at candy thrown by marchers.

“It’s one of the nicer weekends we’ve had in a while,” said Ogdensburg resident Janice C. Sargent.

“We need to get the younger generation out here,” said Elaine H. Putman. “We haven’t missed a parade in, I don’t know, forever.”

After the parade, the ceremony at the cemetery began.

“This is not a day where we’re going to mourn. We are here to remember and to celebrate,” said Ogdensburg Mayor William D. Nelson, who spoke of Ogdensburg veterans throughout history, from the Revolutionary War to the current day.

He asked those gathered to remember Lance Cpl. Nicholas J. Sovie, Ogdensburg, who died in action during Operation Enduring Freedom.

“I love the parade and I love seeing all the people at the cemetery,” said Sally A. Lovely.

Her niece, Wanda L. Barr, agreed.

“I come out because I want to be there for the people who served our country,” Ms. Barr said.

The ceremony ended with a prayer and the sound of Ogdensburg Free Academy students playing taps.

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