Marlborough honors fallen heroes

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 5/29/24

American Legion VP Tom Schroeder opened the Marlboro Memorial Day ceremony saying, “Today we honor the more than one million men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation while …

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Marlborough honors fallen heroes

American Legion VP Tom Schroeder opened the Marlboro Memorial Day ceremony saying, “Today we honor the more than one million men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation while serving in wars and missions since the American Revolution.”
Schroeder said, “many of the men in WW II rest in graves in Normandy’s American Cemetery. Others found peace at Arlington or in their hometown burial places and many more survived the war and raised their families under the peace and freedom that they and their brothers and sisters-in-arms fought so hard to achieve.”
Schroeder said American Legion members, “do not pat themselves on the back or impress people with stories of our own military service. We know what we did but we are also witnesses. Veterans have seen heroism in its purest form and served alongside the men and women that we remember today.”
Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger described Marlborough as a town “steeped in a rich history and profound patriotism. We honor the brave residents of Ulster County who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our great nation. On this solemn Memorial Day we pause to remember the 1,333 Ulster County residents whose lives were cut short while serving in our nation’s wars, with the largest number, 657, having served and died in the Civil War.”
Metzger concluded, saying that, “We must honor the memory of the fallen by supporting those who have returned from the battlefield, often bearing the physical and emotional scars of war. We must ensure they receive the care, respect and opportunities they deserve and as a community upholding our sacred obligation to provide for the well-being of our Veterans and their families just as they protected and served us.”
NYS Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson said there are men and women we remember every year because they died for our country. He said, “They gave their lives for the values of this country and if we can rededicate ourselves to those values of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and rededicate ourselves to the ideals of democracy then no one will ever say they died in vain.”
Supervisor Scott Corcoran noted that the number of people who attended the parade was up considerably from previous years. He  thanked his brother Ulster County Legislator Tom Corcoran for organizing the Hometown Hero banners for Veterans that are seen around town; “It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.”
Corcoran said, “there is a long tradition of honoring our fallen service members, ever since the Civil War. It was then known as Decoration Day and in 1971 it was made a national holiday known as Memorial Day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we as Americans have the freedom and ability to have those barbecues and parties and meet with our friends every day. Let us remember those who gave it all. That is why we’re here today, to honor them and to celebrate them on Memorial Day. We can never thank them enough, we can never honor them enough but we can always remember what they did for us.”
Milton native Lt. Col. Christine Fanitzi recalled marching in the Memorial Day parade since she was a child.
“I marched with the scouts, I marched with the band, I rode on a float as a senior cheerleader and now I am here as a Lieutenant Colonel. You don’t know the thing that is going to trip-wire service for your children, so thank you so much for having them out here today,” she said.
Fanitzi said Memorial Day is not always a happy day but, “I am going to wish you a reflective Memorial Day, one where you will consider their service. Even if you do not serve in the military but serve your community as a volunteer firefighter, a local police man or woman or in the highway department, I don’t think you necessarily need to serve in the military to honor the commitment and sacrifice that was made for you, but I do think we all have a responsibility to contribute to the experiment called Democracy.”
Schroeder announced the award winners for the parade: the Best in Show float went to the cub scout/girl scouts; the Best Theme Float went to the Marlboro Elementary School and the Most Original Float went to the Friends of the Marlboro Free Library.