Relatives of local military members lost in World War I, WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars helped remember all of our county's service men and women who have passed at the Peekskill Memorial Day ceremony Monday.
The in Peekskill hosted the event and invited the relatives of those whose names are inscribed on the war memorials in Monument Park, where the ceremony was held, to ring the Freedom Bell after a reading of the names.
"We have family who have endured all their days and all their nights and still endure today having a relative who did not come back," said John Donohue, American Legion Post 274 Commander.
Following the ringing of the bell, local officials laid wreaths in front of the memorials and the crowd heard from Lt. Col. Richardo G. Singleton, an active military member and member of the American Legion.
Singleton discussed the importance of honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and reflected on the sacrifices he has made for this country.
"We all as veterans have a warrior spirit," Singleton told the crowd. That warrior spirit gives soldiers the drive to carry through with their duty and make sacrifices for their country, he said.
Singleton ended with a quote from Napoleon:
"There are only two forces in this world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit."
Singleton presented Mayor Mary Foster with a flag that has flown in Iraq, which was dedicated to the American Legin Post.
"So all should know this flag was flown side by side in the face of the enemy," Singleton explained, adding that usually flags are used when a soldier has passed.
Foster and County Legislator John Testa also both received military coins representing camaraderie from Singleton.
American Legion member Andrew Frame spoke about Post 274's program, encouraging community members to offer anything they can to veterans returning home, and encouraged participating in the coming up in June.
The ceremony included musical performances by the Peekskill High School band and Tim Murphy, local singer and songwriter, and Joe Brady on the bagpipes.
Mayor Foster and the full Peekskill City Council were present, as well as County Legislator John Testa, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi.