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Flags come down at St. Mary’s, but memories remain

The sight of 107 American flags set up on the lawn at St. Mary’s School this week was impressive enough, but the words left on tags on each told a story of heroes of yesterday and those still serving today.

The identical flags, purchased by members of the Ontario County community and beyond, were set up in a Field of Honor as a tribute to current and past servicemen and women, victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, and first responders.

John McKeown, a Canandaigua attorney, purchased a flag in memory of Charles “La” Gaus, a U.S. Navy seaman stationed aboard the USS Alcedo who was lost at lost at sea Nov. 5, 1917 when the vessel was torpedoed in the Bay of Biscay and sank.

Michael and Nancy Parsons of Canandaigua honored the memory of his father, Ralph Parsons, who served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II, returning to his native Ohio where he lived until his death four years ago.

Flags were planted last weekend with an opening ceremony for the Canandaigua Field of Honor conducted Monday in St. Mary’s Church, where the closing ceremony was held Thursday.

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