A passionate crowd remembered the members of the United States Armed Forces who we have lost and honored present military members as well at the Cortlandt Memorial Day Ceremony Friday afternoon.
About 100 people showed up to be part of the ceremony, many of them veterans or military families, at the Supervisor Linda Puglisi thanked veterans for their service and thanked those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country.
Guest speaker Lt. Col. Richardo G. Singleton explained what it meant for him to be in the service. Singleton listed the seven military values: Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
"Selfless service is what I want to focus on today. Troops do what they are asked to do without question. So when they come home they need something. They need someone (a government maybe) to say thank you." Singleton said. He explained that today's veterans need people to talk to, listen to and try to understand them. Singleton thanked the older veterans in the crowd for helping him and others feel like they will "make it through."
Singleton presented Supervisor Linda Puglisi with a military coin that he said is presented to military members when they leave the combat zone.
William Nazario, commander of Chapter 21 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, chairman of the Hudson Valley Veteran's Committee and a Cortlandt resident, also presented Puglisi with a purple heart coin. He and Singleton each gave a coin to Assemblywoman Sandy Galef as well.
County Legislator Catherine Borgia, who acquired Cortlandt as part of her district this year, told the crowd she wants to join them in their dedication to veterans services.
"I am new here but I want to become a partner to help get veterans services here," Borgia said. She also thanked all us those who have given the ultimate sacrafice and those who have served.
Village of Buchanan Trustee Edward Funchion told the crowd how many of his friends with whom he went to Vietnam never returned. Funchion said he hopes that elected officials will consider a famous Dwight D. Eisenhower quote before they send more young men and women to war.
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity," Funchion said, quoting Eisenhower.
State Senator Greg Ball had a similar message. He explained that the government recruits military with shiny brochures that make a lot of promises.
"I don't believe we do as good a job when military return as the brochures that (got them there) and got them to raise their right hand," Sen. Ball said. He told the crowd he is their friend to fight for veterans issues.
At the start of the ceremony, Nazario spoke passionately about the need to take care of veterans returning home.
"If we allow services to be cut, what are we saying to (those coming home)?" Nazario asked. "We have to defend out services and honor those buried in our cemeteries by keeping up this fight."
Town board members Ann Lindau, Frank Farrell and John Sloan also spoke during the ceremony.
Click through the photos above to see more of what different speakers had to say.