New Windsor celebrates Memorial Day

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 5/22/24

Residents of the Town of New Windsor joined together on Sunday, to watch the annual Memorial Day Parade with bands, fire trucks and other community groups marching along. They also took a brief time …

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New Windsor celebrates Memorial Day


Residents of the Town of New Windsor joined together on Sunday, to watch the annual Memorial Day Parade with bands, fire trucks and other community groups marching along. They also took a brief time to remember the many veterans who gave their lives in service to their country.

Prior to the parade, a memorial procession at Calvary Cemetery made its way to the New Windsor Veterans Memorial Monument at the corner of Route 94 and Route 9W

As in previous years, the Lieutenant Commander Nicholas Brooks Award was presented during the service. It is an award presented to a New Windsor resident for their service in the community and was created by the late Supervisor George Green to honor Brooks, who lost his life in the line of duty. Green and Brooks were lifelong friends.

This year’s award, presented by Town Supervisor Stephen Bedetti, went to Donald J. Plunkett.

Bedetti shared with the crowd that Plunkett was born and educated in Brooklyn before enlisting into the United States Army. Plunkett served in the Military Police and attained the rank of Sergeant in the early 1960s while stationed in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Upon his discharge, Plunkett served as a trooper with the New York State Police for 20 years. He served with Troop K before being promoted to investigator in the special investigative unit working organized crime and public corruption and served on the dive team.

Plunkett has been a longtime resident of New Windsor where he volunteered for various organizations and was a founding member and first Board President for Independent Living then with the Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) Society. Plunkett has also served as the 1st Vice Commander of the Catholic War Veterans Post 386 in New Windsor and is a longtime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Post 1161 in the Town of Newburgh. Plunkett has advocated for both organizations for changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act traveling to Albany and Washington D.C. He has also participated in the New York State Senior and Handicapped Games and was awarded many gold medals for shooting and bowling. He is also active in St. Thomas Church in Cornwall, now known as St. Marianne Cope Parish. Plunkett briefly shared his gratitude for those of the community to come and join him today but also reminded the crowd that the day was meant to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Guest speaker Marine Corps. Captain Warren C. Loopstra, shared remarks on the importance of Memorial Day and for the community to continue the memory of those who have fallen. “A special thank you to those of you in the crowd today who know somebody or who had somebody who you lost in the line of duty. You being out here today means everything and it helps us keep their memories alive,” said Loopstra. “Today, we honor those who gave their last full measure. So let us remember their courage, their selflessness, and their unwavering commitment to duty.”

Wreaths were then placed at the memorial, followed by the firing of rifles, the playing of taps on the trumpet and the playing of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. The ceremony concluded with a final prayer before depart and prepared for the parade.

Vehicles and local bands made their way to the parking lot in front of Nature’s Pantry at around 1 p.m. with step off set for 2 p.m. The sun was out and people were ready to begin the march.

“The Town of New Windsor has always been very proud of its veterans and we’ve always gone out of our way to honor our veterans,” said Councilman Charles Broe. “When you just look today at all the military personnel here and the vehicles, it really is, just an honor to be a part of it.”