Plattekill pays tribute to all Veterans in ceremony

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 11/16/21

On November 11, Plattekill Supervisor Joe Croce welcomed everyone to a special memorial service to honor all of the men and women, living and deceased, who have served their country in peacetime and …

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Plattekill pays tribute to all Veterans in ceremony

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On November 11, Plattekill Supervisor Joe Croce welcomed everyone to a special memorial service to honor all of the men and women, living and deceased, who have served their country in peacetime and in war.

The ceremony opened with the passing of a folded American Flag from one Veteran to another, who were gathered in a half circle at the Plattekill Veteran’s Memorial Park. The raising of an American Flag was followed by the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by Kim Rosenmier.

Pastor Phil Johnson, of the Pentecostal Holy Joy Church of the Lord in Modena, delivered the Invocation.

“We’re grateful God for the many who have gone on paying the ultimate sacrifice and we don’t want to ever forget their service rendered to our nation,” he said. “We want to say thank you to our Veterans and thank you to the families, as we continue to never forget the sacrifices and the service that the military has given for our freedom.”

Three Veterans brought forward wreaths that were placed before the black obelisk at the center of the memorial park. A ceremonial bell was struck twice by the Girl Scouts followed by a moment of silence as Jim Farinelli played Taps.

Guest speaker Gavin Walters is the Program Director for the Vet2Vet of the Hudson Valley National Center for Veterans Reintegration, located in Kingston, NY. Walters came to America from Jamaica when he was five and always wanted to join the military when he grew up. He credits his success in life to his service in the United States Air Force.

Walters said although books and images tell the story of the Armed Forces in action, “we can witness courage, bravery and sacrifice on your left and on your right and honor and respect does not have to be on the battlefield or in war, but when you look at your fellow brother and sister in the face and tell them you are not alone.”

Walters defined a Veteran very simply.

“No matter how you serve or where you serve, you are a Veteran,” he said, and concluded by, “thanking all who have served and continue to serve. Thank you for standing with us when the sun shines bright and thank you to the community for keeping us connected.”

Sis Morse, Chair of the Plattekill Veterans Committee, handed Walters two books filled with news clippings and pictures from Ed Lombard, a now deceased local Veteran who served in the Philippines during WW II. Walters will ensure they are stored safely and made available for viewing at the Air Force Museum in upstate New York.

Supervisor Croce offered a few closing remarks about Veterans Day.

“We are here to honor our heroes and to remember their achievements, their courage and their dedication and to say thank you for their sacrifices. Thinking of the heroes who join us in this group today and those who are here only in spirit, a person can’t help but feel awed by the enormity of what we encounter...To all the Veterans lined up here today I want to thank you for answering the call to duty and for all the family members who are here today, we know you have lived through difficult times and often have taken on a heavy load to keep the home fires burning.”

Croce said all Veterans, “possess courage, drive, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity, all the qualities to serve a cause larger than oneself.”

Croce said the ceremony is “just one small spark in the flame of pride that burns across the nation today and every day. It’s not a lot but it’s one small way we can honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in freedom. We remember and honor them all.”

Kim Rosenmier concluded the ceremony by singing “God Bless America,” written by Irving Berlin in 1918.

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