Lansingburgh Memorial Day Parade brings out the crowds

May 27, 2019 06:54 PM

LANSINGBURGH - Vietnam Veteran Philip Telesky came out to see the annual Veterans of Lansingburgh Memorial Day Parade. 

He reflected on the reception many Vietnam veterans got when they returned home, compared to how servicemen and women are welcomed now. 

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"100 percent they changed. We're respected now.  Before we weren't," he said. 

Telesky says he's proud to be living in the Peter Guenette Veterans Apartments in Lansingburgh, named for the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who sacrificed himself in Vietnam to save others. 

It's an emotional day for Guenette's brother, who NewsChannel 13 spoke to at the Veterans of Lansingburgh. 

"I have personal friends, besides my brother, personal friends that died in Vietnam. You can't forget them. And a lot of us spend the weekend at cemeteries putting flags in. We don't forget it," said Guenette. 

Parade Grand Marshal William Allendorph of Wynantskill commanded the Vietnam mission to rescue soldier Larry Aiken in the only forceful imprisoned soldier return of the war. 

"I can tell you that it was one day out of a long year in Vietnam," said Allendorph. "And I feel very fortunate to have been chosen to go get him. I got him. He's a kid from New York, too. That made me feel extra good about it."

The Honorary Grand Marshal is U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran William Atchinson of Cohoes. 

"It really is an honor to represent this day and what it means to veterans in general and all of those that cannot be here today to celebrate," said Atchinson. 

"As veterans, we try to carry on the tradition," said Paul Higgitt, Jr. of the Veterans of Lansingburgh. "The parade is a good way to get people out, but once they're out, they seem to understand more what the weekend is about. It's not for camping trips and barbecues, although that's part of it. The important thing is to remember those who died fighting for our country."


Kumi Tucker

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