The Village of Waterville enjoyed a parade the morning of Memorial Day because Jason Sigsbee thought it was wrong to skip it.
Sigsbee, of Waterville, is a member of a Patriot motorcycle riders group, and a Gold Star family member. His younger brother, Cpl. John Sigsbee, was killed in action in Iraq in January 2008 while serving in the Army.
When Sigsbee learned a week before Memorial Day that no parade or public ceremony was scheduled in Waterville, he did more than complain. He took action.
Using Facebook, Sigsbee put out a call to anyone who wanted to meet Memorial Day morning and form a little parade. They would follow the usual route from Putnam Street to Soldiers and Sailors Park.
At the park Sigsbee planned to read the names and biographical information about local people who lost their lives serving their country.
As the idea grew, so did the parade. By the end of the day a week before Memorial Day, Sigsbee was joined by veteran Bob Winfield in pushing for a proper tribute to service members.
The two men attended that Monday night’s Village of Waterville board meeting. By then they had talked to a number of people, who all agreed to participate or help.
The C.J. Fulmer American Legion Post in Sangerfield got involved. Because of uncertain restrictions for Covid-19, the Legion, which usually organizes the parade and ceremony, had planned a quiet ceremony in the park Monday morning.
Instead, the ceremony and parade times coordinated so people could march or view and then come to the park for the tribute. “Something is better than nothing,’’ Sigsbee told the Village Board.
Thanks to the enthusiasm generated through Facebook, Waterville’s Memorial Day had become much more something than even Sigsbee had figured. Local fire departments and Legions were invited, he spoke to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department about road patrol on Main Street and local organizations accepted the invitation to march.
Absent were the marching bands from Waterville Central School; due to the pandemic band members have not been in uniform since summer 2019.
Village clerk Gayle Barnes said people called Village Hall throughout Monday to ask how to help or participate.
Board members thanked Sigsbee and Winfield for stepping up to organize the…