KATONAH – Westchester County paid tribute on Wednesday to the nation’s service members, past and present, who have sacrificed to preserve our liberty.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Veterans Service Agency Director Ron Tocci hosted the County’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the County’s Veteran’s Museum at Lasdon Park in Katonah.
The pair were joined for the special occasion by Timothy J. Collmer, U.S. Army veteran and American Legion Department of New York Commander. The American Legion, founded in the aftermath of World War I, is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization.
Earlier this year, the County hosted the American Legion Department of New York Convention, the first time the convention was held in the downstate area in decades.
The Wednesday ceremony kicked of ceremonies throughout Westchester culminating on Veterans Day itself, November 11 – coinciding historically with the World War I armistice with Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918.
County Executive George Latimer said, “Whether they serve in times of peace or times of conflict, the men and women of our military form the bedrock of our democracy. They preserve our liberty in times of peril; and they stand as an example of sacrifice, duty, honor and service to a greater good that should inspire us all. In our busy lives it can be too easy to forget that behind our freedom to speak our minds, to worship as we choose, to take a political or social stand, are men and women willing to give all to protect those freedoms. But we must never take that sacrifice and service for granted.”
Veterans Service Agency Director Ron Tocci said, “In the nearly 250-year history of our great country, millions have been called to serve. That seems like a large number, but in fact it’s truly a select few. Our liberty rests on the shoulders of these brave and selfless men and women. We all rely on their dedication and sacrifice, and that’s why it’s important today and every day that we show them our appreciation. But we have to do more than just thank them for their service. We must let them know that we will always be here for them, like they were here for us.”