Plessis Brookside Cemetary to honor veterans at holiday tree lighting

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PLESSIS, N.Y. (WWTI) — The small village of Plessis will gather this holiday season to honor those who have served.

In honor of the 80th anniversary of World War II, the Plessis Brookside Cemetary Association will hold a memorial tree lighting service to honor veterans.

According to the Association, the ceremony will honor all veterans, both alive and deceased dating all the way back to the Civil War. The service will also honor all law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, first responders and firefighters in the region.

Tim Helmer, who is a lifelong resident of the Village of Plessis is on the Cemetary Association Board. He’s noted as an avid volunteer and has spent time helping to preserve the cemetery for the community.

Helmer said he hopes the event brings more awareness to the work local cemeteries put in to preserve the history they contain, especially in Plessis where some gravestones date back to the Civil War era in the18th century.

“Those stones go way back. And so it’s a very tedious task to upright them, straightening up, leveling them up,” Helmer said. “A lot of people don’t realize that cemeteries receive no funding from the town, county or state, any type of agencies whatsoever that, you know, it’s a very trying time.”

Overall, Helmer said the memorial will ultimately be a moment where the community can honor veterans and the part they played in history.

“The tree lighting is our way of shining a light on their endeavors throughout life and, you know, everybody’s got a purpose in life and what better way than to spotlight that,” Helmer expressed.

The event will also include a visit from Santa Claus who will distribute holiday treats to younger attendees. Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will also be available.

The Plessis Brookside Cemetery Association Memorial Tree Lighting Service will be held on December 12 at the former Flat Rock Tavern, located on NYS Route 26 in Plessis. The service will begin at 4 p.m.

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