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The Times
  • Montgomery honored during Mohawk Firemen's Field Days parade

  • As grand marshal for this year’s Mohawk Firemen’s Field Days parade, John Seymour said the significance of it wasn’t lost on him.

    “It’s an honor,” said Seymour, earlier Saturday before the march. “It’s an honor just to be here to do it.”

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  • As grand marshal for this year’s Mohawk Firemen’s Field Days parade, John Seymour said the significance of it wasn’t lost on him.
    “It’s an honor,” said Seymour, earlier Saturday before the march. “It’s an honor just to be here to do it.”
    Seymour is one of two surviving victims from when Kurt Myers went on a shooting spree in Mohawk and Herkimer on March 13.
    Seymour was working at his barbershop at 17 W. Main St. when Myers started shooting. While Seymour and customer Dan Haslauer survived, two other customers — Harry Montgomery, Sr. and Michael Ransear  — were killed. Myers went on to kill Michael Renshaw and Thomas Stefka at Gaffey’s Lube Shop at 320 Mohawk St., Herkimer.
    Nearly five months after the shooting, Seymour said he’s staying positive.
    “I’m doing very well because of all my family and the support of the community,” he said. “You gotta keep up, and you can’t let yourself fall. I’m still taking care of my 100-year-old mother.”
    Seymour heard the support of the community as they cheered and clapped for him as he was driven by in a convertible at the head of the parade. Some stood up out of their chairs to applaud him and show their support.
    Joyce Bradle said she knows Seymour — her son used to get his hair cut by him in high school, and continued to do so after he went away to college. Bradle said it was important for her to go to the parade this year.
    “Because it’s for Mohawk pride. I’ve lived here all my life. It means a lot more this year because of the flooding and the murders,” she said, also referring to the late June floods that devastated the area.
    Seymour waved and talked to people in the crowd while proceeding down the parade route. Behind him were members of the Mohawk Fire Corps, who held a banner showing their new name: The Harry Montgomery, Sr. Chapter. The group recently named their chapter after Montgomery since he was an active member of the group.
    Organizers for the parade dedicated the parade in Montgomery’s memory this year. A portrait of Montgomery was carried as part of the parade’s procession.
    Vivian Ekstrand, of Ilion, was also at the parade to show her support for Montgomery and Seymour.
    “I wanted to salute John Seymour. He does a musical program for us at London Towers,” she said. “I’ve come here in the past, but I really wanted to see John.”
    The Alexander Fire Hose Co. 1 held the field days Thursday through Saturday this year, which included food and entertainment. One of the highlights is the parade.
    Page 2 of 2 - Parade organizers chose the theme of “Mohican Spirit” for the parade and asked alumni, groups, teams, businesses, organizations or even families enter floats or vehicles decked out in orange and black since the school is merging with the Ilion Central School District in the fall. Bradle was one of the parade goers who had on orange and black to show her support for her old school district.
    Seymour said he’s started cutting hair again in people’s homes. Reflecting on the shooting, the floods, and the closing of their school, he said, “It’s been quite a year for the Mohawk Valley. I’ll be glad when this year is over.”
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