On Veterans Day the Town of Marlborough set time aside to remember all of the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
November 11 was originally called Armistice Day and marked the end of hostilities between the Allies and Germany in WWI. The peace went into effect (Paris time) on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. The day was later named Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all members in the military.
Vietnam Veteran Thomas Schroeder welcomed everyone to the service at the Veterans Memorial in Marlboro.
American Legion members Tom O’Connor and Frank Troncillito laid the wreath before the Marlborough War Memorial.
Schroeder began by reading a letter from commanding officer A.E. Jones of the U.S.S. Roosevelt, the Department of the Navy.
“I want to express my incredible gratitude to all the Veterans from New York who have sacrificed so much in the defense of freedom and the promotion of the American ideal. Their example carries on through generations and sets the high standards by which we operate today,” he said.
Cmdr. Jones said his crew knows the risks they face “and they stare those risks right in the eye and face them head on because they understand the sacrifices necessary and there can be no victory without it.”
Cmdr. Jones said it is important to acknowledge the support of the families of service men and women because they understand “the necessary struggle we endure to promote the ideals of equality and peace.” He reminded everyone “that every day is a gift [and] each step is an opportunity given to us by Veterans currently serving abroad as well as those who have served in the past.”
NYS Assemblyman Frank Skartados said “We all know that we live in the land of the free because we are the home of the brave; the brave men and women in uniform who put country and community before family and self.”
Skartados said those who served have “defended our democratic ideals and values that helped to build this great nation. We are very grateful for all that they have done. Today, we honor them, from the War for Independence to the two World Wars, to the Korean War, to the Vietnam War, to the Cold War to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the ongoing War on Terror. We thank them for their service, we thank them for their courage and we thank them for their sacrifices.”
Supervisor Al Lanzetta recalled the ultimate sacrifice of childhood friend LCPL William J. Partington Jr. who was killed in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam in March 1970. He was 21 years old.
“Today is a day we set aside to honor our Veterans and it is my humble honor as the representative of the people of Marlborough to honor those people who have done something extraordinary so that we may all enjoy the freedoms we treasure today,” he said. “Our Veterans are our role models, who show how to answer the call to civic duty and uphold our finest values.”
Schroeder said whether in peacetime or in wartime all Veterans have taken an oath, “indicating they are willing to offer their lives to defend our Constitution and country…Most Veterans agree that the best wars are ones that are never fought but when war is necessary American fighting men and women always come forward and put their county first.”
Schroeder said since WW II our Armed Forces have served in the far corners of the globe; Korea, the Persian Gulf, Beirut, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq. He said today our men and women in uniform are providing humanitarian aid and rescuing victims of natural disasters.
“Some serve in war zones and risk their lives on a daily basis. Some are Reservists and some are in the National Guard and while each takes pride in their branch of service, when an enemy threatens or a mission surfaces, they join together as one family and meet the challenge. This is what Veterans do; country first.”
Schroeder said it is important to remember that those who have served in war must be taken care of because for some of them the battle never ends.
“We need to remember the sacrifices made, the lives that were lost and the lost family ties. We need to remember that Veterans Day is also freedom’s day,” he said. “Veterans put us first and today we put Veterans first.”
Joe Mannese played Taps, followed by Vietnam Veteran Jefferson Murphy, who played “Amazing Grace” on the harmonica.
By Mark Reynolds