BUFFALO, New York — The 55th Annual Western New York Armed Forces Week begins Sunday, with the Coast Guard hosting the opening ceremony at Canalside, adjacent to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.
The ceremony will begin at 12:45 p.m. and will feature military color guards and the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, which will be playing military themed music.
Coast Guard response capabilities will be displayed, in addition to Patriot Riders, military vehicles and the Patriot Guard. A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detroit is scheduled to fly over during the ceremony.
Other highlights of the opening ceremony include: American Gold Star Mothers will be honored; and Linda Jenkin Costanzo, local author of the book “Our Sons, Our Heroes: Memories Shared by America’s Gold Star Mothers from the Vietnam War,” will be a guest speaker.
American Gold Star Mother is a term applied to mothers who have lost a son or daughter in combat. A portion of the ceremony will be dedicated to the memory of those military members who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Armed Forces Week Opening Ceremony is open to the public and admission to the event is free. This kicks off a weeklong celebration honoring active duty, reserve and retired military members across Western New York.