Covid and unseasonably mild weather may have changed the look of Walden’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony, but the village still remembered its veterans on Sunday.
Allowances for social distancing were made for the annual observance: there was no live band (only recorded music) no group photos of veterans and no refreshments at the VFW Post afterward, but on the Sunday prior to Veterans Day, Walden paused as usual.
“Do we really appreciate what the Veterans have done for us,” asked Orange County Legislator Mike Anagnostakis, an annual speaker at the Walden event.
Anagnostakis noted that the Coronavirus pandemic had taken away many of our freedoms, including the right to gather when and where we wanted to and with whom. It is nothing compared to what we could have lost had our military heroes failed in they various missions through history.
Town of Montgomery Supervisor (and former Walden Mayor) Brian Maher spoke of his time as an assistant to the late Senator Bill Larkin who gave his blessing when Maher wanted to enter the U.S. Naval reserves. Maher, one of the region’s youngest elected officials, found himself surrounded by 17, 18 and 19 year-olds.
“I learned so much from them,” he said, adding that the next generation of leaders is smartly undedicated.
During the ceremony, the Walden Veterans Memorial Park Committee dedicated 13 new inscribed bricks to honor local veterans who had served in the military. This year’s honorees were:
U.S. Army: Henry Balogh, Joseph L. Carlini, Michael A. Knapp, Steven Landsman, Clyde G Lennon Sr., Bruce A. McLaughlin, Harry T. McLaughlin Sr., Wilbur S. Sutton and Andrew S. Uszenski Jr.
U.S. Navy: Robert Decker, Charles Playne
U.S. Coast Guard: Jason C. Dwyer.
U.S. Marines: Michael Imbasciani