Critics blast Kane leaders for Memorial Day request

Staff Writer

Criticism surfaced Wednesday against Kane leaders who advised the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to forgo its traditional Memorial Day program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a meeting of the Kane Borough Council, George Barron, a 90-year-old retired State Police trooper, said the request for the VFW to change its format for Memorial Day “defamed the veterans.”
“You owe the veterans an apology,” he said.
“You should be ashamed of yourselves,” Dan Farnsworth told council. “They (the veterans) fought for this country to be free.”
Matthew Boyer, a senior-to-be at Kane Area High School and a former junior member of the borough council, said “it is disappointing” for Kane’s leaders to advise the VFW to cancel its traditional Memorial Day program at Evergreen Park.
Boyer, who is Barron’s grandson, served as the bugler at the Memorial Day program. He played “Taps” following the 21-gun salute by the VFW Firing Squad.
Kane Mayor Brandy Schimp said she wrote the letter to the VFW and “asked them to reconsider their plans” for a large pubic program in the midst of a health crisis.
Kane was within the state’s “yellow phase” on Memorial Day. State health guidelines recommend gatherings of 25 or less in this zone.
The usual Memorial Day program in Kane brings out many more than 25. 
“I tried to follow the rules,” Schimp said in explaining her suggestion to the VFW to hold a “memorial service” at a later date.
According to Schimp, “everybody is just fuming mad with me” for her letter to the VFW.