(Senator Greg Ball lays a wreath at the WWII Memorial in Washington DC with two time POW Paul Raphael of Montrose)
Washington, D.C. – 9/18/2013 – Dozens of WWII veterans and over a dozen volunteers gathered at Senator Greg Ball’s (R, C, I – Patterson) District Office in Brewster early Tuesday morning to board busses and travel to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington DC.
Senator Greg Ball, Heroes in Transition and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 21, planned a free road trip for dozens of local WWII veterans to visit the National WWII Memorial in Washington, DC.
“According to the Veteran’s Administration, our World War II veterans are dying at a rate of 600 per day. These brave men and women gave so much to fight for our nation’s safety and freedom and it is my honor to give them an opportunity to see the national memorial that was created in honor of their service,” said Senator Greg Ball, Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security. “When I first announced this trip, I pledged to do it at no cost for the veterans that attend. I am so happy to see that so many community members and small businesses really stepped up to the plate and helped make this trip possible and 100% free for the Greatest Generation, our WWII veterans! I have to thank all the volunteers and my staff, who worked so hard to make this trip possible. We also have to thank the U.S. Air Force for making this the most amazing event I have ever been a part of. This trip will never be forgotten and was a true and fitting tribute to the great sacrifices these brave souls have made.”
United States Congressman Chris Gibson and Sean Patrick Maloney greeted the WWII veterans as they arrived at the memorial in DC.
“I am honored to be a part of this ceremony for our country’s Greatest Generation. Their courage and sacrifice were truly remarkable. his trip is just a small way to mark their tremendous contributions to our country, and it is their work that allows us to gather in our nation’s Capitol, at the WWII Memorial that was erected in their honor,” said Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-19).
“As a son of a Navy veteran, it is a tremendous honor to welcome these American heroes to our nation’s capital where their service is remembered at the World War II memorial. We can never fully repay our veterans, but whether we’re cutting through red tape to get our veterans the benefits they’ve earned or simply pausing for a moment to thank them for their service, we must never stop honoring the brave men and women who sacrificed so much in defense of our freedom,” said Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18).
Veterans from: Brewster, Buchanan, Chatham, Cortlandt, Hopewell Junction, Lewisboro, Mahopac, Mount Pleasant, Mt Kisco, North Salem, Ossining, Patterson, Pawling, Peekskill, Pleasantville, Poughquag, Pound Ridge, Somers, Verplanck and Yorktown Heights all attended the trip.
When the two charted buses filled with WWII veterans arrived at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC they were greeted by cheering volunteers. The United States Air Force Honor Guard also performed an official Wreath Laying Ceremony at the memorial. After the Wreath Laying Ceremony, the WWII veterans traveled over to Bolling Air Force Base where they watched a drill demonstration and musical ceremony.
Senator Ball’s grandfather an Army veteran of WWII attended the trip.
“I have never been so proud in my life as I am right now, to be an American. God Bless America,” said Herman Schreiber.
Heroes in Transition, a not-for-profit that has been providing assistance to veterans in honor of fallen Marine Captain Eric A. Jones since 2010, co-hosted the trip with Senator Greg Ball.
“Heroes in Transition has been providing assistance to veterans in honor of fallen Marine Captain Eric A. Jones since 2010,” said Heroes in Transition President Michael Warshaw. “It is our honor to be able to help these American heroes finally see the WWII memorial and also find peace by being able pay their final respects to their dear friends and fellow military servicemen and women who lost their lives in WWII.”
In addition to Heroes in Transition, Senator Greg Ball also hosted the trip in conjunction with Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 21.
“We deeply appreciate all the efforts of Senator Ball and Heroes in Transition to make this trip possible,” said Eugene Parrotta, Chair of Senator Greg Ball’s Veteran’s Advisory Council, and member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 21. “What a wonderful thing to provide these WWII veterans with an opportunity to see the memorial that was built in their honor.”
The trip was made possible by dozens of donations from community members and local businesses including a generous $2,500 donation from the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and an entire breakfast sponsored by ShopRite of Cortlandt Manor. Other businesses that donated food and services include: FirstLight Homecare, Bucci’s Deli, Sauro’s Deli, Patterson Deli, Competitive Telecoms Group, Putnam County Hospital and Dante’s Deli II.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of the WWII Trip to Washington DC with Senator Ball,” said Vincent McMahon, Owner, FirstLight HomeCare of Westchester. “Helping to keep our area seniors safe, active and engaged in the world around them is important to us at FirstLight. Our caregivers are here to help seniors do just that—whether at home or traveling to new places.”
Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith provided a police escort for the veterans as they left Senator Greg Ball’s district office early Tuesday morning.
“We must never forget the sacrifice of all of our veterans and especially the members of our greatest generation’ who put their lives on hold and when called upon marched to the sound of the guns and saved our democracy,” said Sheriff Smith.
“It is an honor and privilege to be able to help the men and women of the WWII that made America what it is,” said Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy. “These veterans deserve a lot more then what they are getting. It’s about time this country puts these veterans in the forefront and honors each and every one of them.”
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