Flag ceremony, parade honors local vets in Lake Placid
LAKE PLACID — Despite light flurries of snow and a freezing breeze, dozens of people gathered outside American Legion Post 326 on Main Street in Lake Placid Saturday, Nov. 11 to honor the lives of six local veterans.
The legion members, joined by other veterans, the Lake Placid Marching Blue Bombers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and first responders paraded down Main Street while onlookers applauded their service. As the parade wound its way around the bend near the Lake Placid Olympic Museum to its final destination, the legion, those who had been waiting in the cold for almost 20 minutes to catch a glimpse of Lake Placid’s veterans stood in the street, craning their necks and putting children on their shoulders.
This was Lake Placid’s second Veterans Day parade in recent years. It was put on hold in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and returned last year.
The ceremony began with a prayer by Jason Jones and opening remarks by Legion Commander Doug Hoffman. Stuart Spotts and Bob Marvin then lowered the three flags that have been flying outside the American Legion since Memorial Day, folding the flags and presenting them, along with plaques, to the loved ones of the veterans they honored.
The first flag lowered was in honor of Shirley LaMoy, who died in January 2023 at 88 years old. She was born in 1934 in Lake Placid and served in the U.S. Navy as a nurse from 1952 to 1956. The wife of Ray LaMoy, she was the mother of three sons: Douglas, Andrew and R. Daniel LaMoy. She was an avid golfer, Ray said on Saturday. He recalled having a hard time keeping up with her on the course. Ray was presented with Shirley’s flag by Spotts while Daniel looked on.
The next flag lowered was in honor of Thomas Hadjis, who died in March 2023 at 84 years old. He was born in 1938 in Lake Placid to Greek immigrant parents and grew up working in his family’s restaurants. He served in the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander. He later worked as an assistant to the New York state attorney general, then returned to Lake Placid to raise his three daughters, Christina, Nini and Priscilla. Nini was presented with her father’s flag by Spotts while Christina and Priscilla looked on.
The final flag lowered was in honor of Raymond McIntyre, who died in December 2022 at 93 years old. He was born in 1929 in Lake Placid and went to St. Lawrence University on a full ski scholarship. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War before returning to New York to teach at Lake Placid High School, the Rochester Institute for Technology and Paul Smith’s College. He was married for 51 years to Betty O’Connor McIntyre, who was presented with Raymond’s flag by Spotts on Saturday.
A student at Lake Placid Middle/High School then played “Taps,” which usually concludes military funerals and signals the end of the military day.
Spotts and Marvin then raised three flags that will fly until next Memorial Day.
The first flag raised was in honor of William “Bill” Kelly, who died in June 2023 at 95 years old. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1945 and served with the Army Corps of Engineers, where he was stationed in Austria, until 1948. He was recalled to serve in the Korean War a few years later and was discharged after 10 months. Kelly returned to Lake Placid and worked in construction. He was also a member of the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department and the husband of Mildred Pelkey.
The next flag raised was in honor of James Staats, who died in 2023 at 54 years old. He was born in 1968 in Lake Placid and served in the U.S. Navy for 27 years, retiring as a Gunner’s Mate, first class. He then worked as an officer at the Lake Placid Police Department for more than 18 years. Following his retirement in 2022, he and his wife, Lori, traveled full-time down the east coast of the U.S. in their RV before settling in Bradenton, Florida.
The final flag raised was in honor of Betty Jean Trantham, who died in January 2023 at 72 years old. She was born in Lake Placid in 1950 and was married to U.S. Army veteran Harold Elwing Trantham, who died in 2004. She lived in Louisiana and had one daughter, Terrasa, and three sons, Jason, James and Harold. She was a grandmother and great-grandmother.
The ceremony closed with the Lake Placid Marching Blue Bombers playing a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a prayer by Ann Fitzgerald.
Earlier that day, legion members performed similar ceremonies at the Adirondack Community Church, Elderwood of Uihlein and the Lake Placid Health and Medical Fitness Center.
At the Adirondack Community Church, a flag honoring Glenn William “Bill” Hardy was lowered and a flag honoring Roland White was raised. White died in August at 90 years old. He was born in 1933 in Lake Placid and served during the Korean War. Following honorable discharge in 1955, he married Alta Supernaw and together they raised six children in Lake Placid. From 1976 to 2000, he worked as golf course superintendent at the Bald Peak Colony Club in Melvin Village, New Hampshire.
At Elderwood of Uihlein, a flag honoring Gary Mesec was lowered and a flag honoring Henry “Hank” Trombley was raised. Trombley died in June 2021 at 89 years old. He was born in Plattsburgh in 1932 and served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War as a surgical medic. Trombley married Gayle Reynolds Wilson in 1985 and was a stepfather of four, grandfather of five and great-grandfather of two.
At the Lake Placid Health and Medical Fitness Center, a flag honoring Robert Thompson was lowered and a flag honoring John Peters was raised. Peters was a veteran of the U.S. Army. A transplant to Lake Placid, he loved to spend time at the ski jumps and volunteer around town. He was married to Eugenia “Gene” Peters for more than 50 years and they had two children, Diane and John.