A stone memorial, with an eagle with outstretched wings, standing in front of the J. Malone Bannan Memorial Building in the Town of Newburgh reads the following inscription: ‘In Grateful Tribute To The Men And Women Of The Town Of Newburgh New York Who Served In The Armed Forces Of Our Country.’
November 11, 2021 marks the 103rd anniversary and remembrance of Armistice Day, known to United States citizens and veterans alike as Veterans Day.
On a sunny Thursday morning, Newburgh residents gathered at J. Malone Bannan Memorial Building, to celebrate and remember the veterans of the past and present who have served and sacrificed for their country.
American Legion Commander, Specialist 4th Duane Mickle, who served in the Army from 1966 to 1968, led the proceedings for the ceremony. Mickle began with recognition of veterans in attendance, the presentation of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Councilwoman Betty Greene came forward to the podium and led the gathered guests in a singing of ‘God Bless America’ by Irving Berlin.
Town of Newburgh Supervisor Gil Piaquadio came forward to the podium to offer his remarks. “Today our nation pauses to honor our veterans. This day is dedicated to men and women who’ve worn uniforms, who’ve gone into battle, those that have served our country fighting abroad and sacrificing at home,” Piaquadio said. “As we reflect on our veterans and their service, what touches us most is their character, their caliber and their steadfast call of duty.”
At the conclusion of Piaquadio’s remarks, the American Legion, the town and other Newburgh military organizations placed wreaths in front of the Newburgh monument as servicewomen and men saluted and civilians placed their hands on their hearts.
Specialist 4, Warren Heller, said today was “very emotional.” He was proud to be around the various servicemen that had gathered at town hall. “We’re a great nation (United States),” Heller said. “The men before us that built this country, they didn’t run. Americans don’t run backwards.”
U.S. Airmen Jack Versusky, from the Town of Newburgh was happy to come out.
“Today is a very special day for celebrating for all the veterans, past and present,” Versusky said. “We need more people to join.”
Retired U.S. Army Corporal Angelo Carbone expressed words of thanks and hopeful support for veterans across the country today. “I’m glad I did what I did do, in the service,” Carbone said. “I’d like to make sure that people that haven’t served appreciate the ones that did serve and hope everybody in the United States supports our veterans.”
“When veterans come home it’s a victory, this is not Memorial Day, this is Veterans Day,” Mickle said. “This is a day that we should all rejoice. No matter how you came home, you came home.”