This year the Memorial Day activities throughout my district were especially poignant and significant. It is always an honor to participate in any ceremony honoring veterans and this year the special tributes and recognitions added to the events.
The Town of Cortlandt held the first ceremony I attended on Friday May 24th. The Muriel Morabito Community Center was packed as usual for the ceremony and was attended by a large number of elected officials. Many veterans were in attendance, including a significant number of members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
For me, this ceremony was significant because I was able to announce the recent vote at the Westchester County Board of Legislators designating Westchester a Purple Heart County, only the third in NY to do so. I also had the honor of making the announcement and presenting the NYS Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Willie Nazario, a proclamation memorializing the designation.
On Monday the 27th the Peekskill ceremony had a special honor for Charlie Wassil who recently passed from health complications contracted during his efforts at Ground Zero. I knew Charlie since we were teammates in Lapolla Little League on the Cortlandt Roofing minor league tea. Charlie was our pitcher and I the catcher. We reconnected when I was Mayor of Peekskill and Charlie was a detective n the police force. He was a very patriotic, dedicated and loyal person. His passing marks the second friend to give his life as a result of the terrorist attack on 9/11. The other was Sam Oitice, who gave his life to save others that fateful day. At the Peekskill ceremony I was proud to present Commander John Donohue of the American Legion a copy of the Westchester County Purple Heart Resolution.
I ended my Memorial Day events in Yorktown beginning with their Memorial Day Parade. The parade was very well attended. The weather was perfect and a large number of veteran and civic groups participated, including the Yorktown High School Band and others.
Finally, I attended the services held at Jefferson Village. The ceremony is only in its second year but is a well organized and attended event. It was a special day to honor our fallen heroes and recognize those still among us and their families. The ceremony also includes a special recognition to the area’s first responders with many of them in attendance.
I hope you enjoy the photo collection compiled from all the events I attended.