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Memorial Day was enacted to memorialize the soldiers who lost their life in the American Civil War and later was expanded to honor the soldiers who bravely served our nation and fought and died in all American wars. These courageous men and women, so different in heritage and background, shared the common bonds and goals of the armed forces – duty and sacrifice.  Far too often, we take for granted the many freedoms we enjoy as American citizens that were paid for with the lives of others.  

Since our country’s fight for independence began in 1775, almost two million American service members have lost their lives in the line of duty.  Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, servicemen and women continued to fight for our freedoms throughout the world. Memorial Day is a time set aside to honor our military heroes who have served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our freedoms and this nation.

Events are planned throughout Erie County that celebrates the heroism and courage of these men and women who died in the line of duty. Before attending family parties, neighborhood picnics, and other holiday celebrations I ask all Erie County residents to take a moment to pause and honor veterans we have lost. You may consider displaying an American Flag or simply placing a flower at a veteran’s gravesite to offer a special recognition to those who greatly deserve it.

At the Erie County Clerk’s Office, we are honored to pay tribute to our veterans 365 days a year through our S.A.L.U.T.E.S. (Showing Appreciation Loyalty and Unity Towards Erie County Servicemembers) Program which includes our signature “Thank-A-Vet” Discount Card Program and William J. Donovan Purple Heart Recipients Book of Merit. These complementary programs are a way to recognize veterans in our community for their honorable service.  To learn more about the Clerk’s S.A.L.U.T.E.S. Program please call 716-858-6787 or visit