County Executive and Veterans Service Agency Director Host Veterans Day Ceremony
Westchester County paused on November 9th to honor the County and the nation’s military veterans in a ceremony at Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial in Katonah.
Veterans Day coincides 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. Communities across Westchester held ceremonies that day. The County’s annual ceremony is a unique chance to bring veterans and veterans groups together from across the County in advance of those commemorations.
At this year’s ceremony, the County welcomed special guests from the American Legion Department of New York — the statewide chapter of the nation’s largest veteran’s organization. On hand were New York Commander David R. Riley Sr., an Air Force veteran, as well as Nancy Babis, President of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of New York, a 62-year member of the American Legion Auxiliary B. Leo Dolan Unit # 410 in Lockport, whose mother Joyce, was a U.S Cost Guard veteran, whose father Ralph was a U.S. Navy veteran both from World War II, and whose husband John was a Navy Veteran during the Viet Nam era. Also taking part was Timothy S. Van Patten II, Detachment Commander of New York’s Sons of the American Legion whose father, Timothy S. Van Patten was Past Department Commander and an US Navy veteran, and whose family line of service include both his grandfather and his great grand-father going back to World War I. Westchester County Commander Fred Wooding also joined the ceremony.
Latimer said: “With citizenship we have rights. We also have responsibilities. And the men and women who have served in our Country have understood that and have honored that. They made a sacrifice, and that sacrifice sometimes is passed by as we’re just busy living our lives. We enjoy our lives, whatever our pursuits may be. But these things are ours today because of the sacrifice of every man and woman who put on the uniform of this Country.”
“Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Flag Day, Gold Mothers Day — even if you add up all those particular ceremonies, they don’t add up to 30 day’s worth of recognition. But their sacrifice was 365 days, and we respect that and we thank you for that sacrifice.”
Tocci said: “I’ve often said that as Veterans Service Director that I have the most important job in the County. And I truly believe that. What could be better and more gratifying than taking care of those people who take care of us? Ever since the inception of our nation, it’s always been that warrior who has been a true patriot. We’ve had millions who have served in the military — and it’s not just the warrior, it’s the families that serve with them.”