CORNING - People flocked Monday to Veterans Memorial Park, off Park Avenue, to honor Memorial Day and later to nearby Hope Cemetery for ceremonies with military honors for a Corning man who fought in World War I, Reginald Sinclaire.

Sinclaire, who joined France’s Service Aeronautique in June 1917, flew 167 combat missions in WWI, said Dick Naylor, team captain of the Corning American Legion Ritual Team, moments prior to the military honors ceremony.

“This is kind of a closure,” said Bobby Rockwell, of his great uncle Sinclaire. “All the veterans groups got together and figured it was time to do this.”

Naylor said the veterans groups were looking forward to the military honors for Sinclaire.

“It’s quite a piece of history we stumbled on and thought it would be an honorable thing to do on Memorial Day,” Naylor said.

Russ Miller, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, called Memorial Day a day to remember during the event at Veterans Memorial Park.

“A day to remember and honor those who died in the service of the United States,” Miller said. “Memorial Day is a special day to look back at those we have lost, and not allow their memory to fade into history. The servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice are the only reason that we stand as free men and women. The very least we can do is not allow them to be forgotten.”

Mayor Bill Boland, who also spoke at the event at Veterans Memorial Park, agreed.

“Today, we set aside time to remember the times that real lives were lost to battle for the lives we now enjoy,” Boland said. “Today, we take this occasion to reflect on what was and the price we have paid in the currency of lost youth.”

The annual Memorial Day event also included a welcoming and prayer, taps, a wreath presentation and benediction. After the ceremony the event moved to Hope Cemetery for Sinclaire's military honors.

Sinclaire was born on August 30, 1893, in Corning. He died Feb. 15, 1989, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is buried in Hope Cemetery, in Corning.