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December 12, 2018
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General News: Veterans Day 2018

Photo by Casey Regenbaum. Gun Salute.
Photo by Casey Regenbaum. Gun Salute.
Photo by Casey Regenbaum. Map in the library where veterans would mark their locations of service.
Photo by Casey Regenbaum. Map in the library where veterans would mark their locations of service.
Photo by Casey Regenbaum. Orange County Legislator Kevin Hines delivering his speech.
Photo by Casey Regenbaum. Orange County Legislator Kevin Hines delivering his speech.
Photo by Casey Regenbaum. Salute the Memorial after the wreaths were placed.
Photo by Casey Regenbaum. Salute the Memorial after the wreaths were placed.
November 16, 2018

Veterans Day Memorial 2018 by Casey Regenbaum

At 11am Sunday Morning, the town held its Veterans Day service at the Memorial across from the Town Hall. This year marked one hundred years since the end of World War I. Families and friends bundled up as they gathered to support the military members of our community.

American Legion 353 presented Al Vanicore, a marine that was in Vietnam, the American Legion medal for notable military service.

Speakers:
Mayor Coyne thanked everybody for being there, despite the cold. He read the poem, In Flanders Field by John McCrae then led the crowd in singing “God Bless America”. Everybody joined in without hesitation, and sang together honoring our country and our veterans.

Richard Randazzo began by recognizing how truly difficult it is to maintain a democracy without a strong military, with individuals willing to fight and die for our nation. He spoke about the patriotism and americanism that reflects on what many of our veterans spread throughout our community. In addition to honoring and celebrating our veterans on this day, he encouraged everybody to thank a veteran when they see a veteran on any given day.

Orange County Legislator Kevin Hines thanked the American Legion for hosting this service. He began by encouraging anybody who needs any assistance, whether it is financial needs, homelessness, or unemployment, to reach out to Veterans Services group in Orange County. He then spoke about the many sacrifices that our veterans make to ensure all of us could be free. He thanked Al Vanacore for his outstanding services whether it was in the military, the Newburgh Police Department, or Cornwall Police Department. Kevin Hines emphasized his appreciation for Al and other veterans who inspire others to do good for our communities and our nation.

The General Commander thanked everybody for taking the time to come today. He put emphasis on how important this day was, and that it marked one hundred years since the end of the war to end all wars. Both of his grandfathers served in World War I, and left the legacy of service. He said that the men and women who fought in World War I fought for a cause and truly believed in what they were doing.

Peter Kurpeawski, the Commander of the American Legion Post 353, said that events like this are meant to honor not just the recent generation of veterans, but all of the veterans who have served for our nation. He reflected on the hardships that many veterans had to go through, and will never forget. We celebrate our veterans of all races, gender, economic classes and religions. He said they all show great commitment to America, and make the world a safer place. Kurpeawski criticized the fact that veterans statistically have a higher chance of homelessness than men who have not served in uniform. He said “too often veterans of highly skilled service isn’t fully appreciated in the civilian sector of certifications and college degrees”. He believes that a good way to help prevent this is to focus on the employment of veterans. He said “a simple but proven way to thank a veteran is to hire a veteran”. He concluded by thanking the veterans for all that they’ve done for our country.

After all the speakers spoke, different departments, including the fire department and the police chiefs, laid wreaths in front of the memorial. NYMA Cadets then proceeded with a five gun salute, and Zachary Hummel from CCHS played Taps as the crowd took this opportunity to silently honor our veterans.

After the ceremony, everybody was invited to come into the library for refreshments. The Cornwall Historical Society had displays set up throughout the room that included books, artifacts, and uniforms from the local veterans throughout history. Many of the veterans were happy to share their stories, and community members were eager to listen. Pictured is a world map placed with pins where veterans were encouraged to place their location of services.

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