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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara
ALBANY, Nov. 7 -- Let’s start this week with a memory
because, in the end, this week is all about remembering. So I’ll
recall former President Ronald Reagan, on June 6, 1984, standing tall
on a windswept promontory on the coast of France offering words to commemorate
the 40th anniversary of D-Day: “We will always remember. We will
always be proud. We will always be
Always remember. Always be proud. Freedom.
Travel through this region’s individual communities and it’s
striking to reflect on the common landmarks that stand equally tall as
reminders of the guiding principles and the underlying strengths of our
nation: town and village halls, county courthouses, churches, elementary
And so we can’t forget the monuments and memorials that America’s communities have seen fit to build to honor our veterans. Indeed, there may be no more powerful or poignant landmarks anywhere and, later this week, we’ll gather in these places to remember. Because on Friday, November 11th, individual citizens of every age and walk of life will join public officials, veterans, and veterans’ families to observe Veterans Day.
We’ll be observing this year's Veterans Day with the promise of troops coming home, but with so many others still bravely engaged in the war against terrorism. It will be observed at a time when the world’s stage remains embroiled in uncertainty and instability. It truly is a momentous and dangerous time in world history and our annual tribute to veterans takes on many shades of meaning.
But most of all we still stand proud in local ceremonies around the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions to honor the sacrifices and the victories of our soldiers – past, present, and future. In so doing, we reaffirm our pride in this nation’s servicemen and women and, of course, we turn our thoughts and prayers to those young soldiers whom we’ve lost from here at home in the recent past – including Devin Snyder of Cohocton, Zachary Smith of Hornell, and Christopher Scott of Dundee.
Since the tragic unfolding of September 11, 2001, this generation has realized, all too painfully, that our freedom here at home can be threatened at any moment. We realize, as well, that our troops always stand ready to protect freedom again and again. The freedoms we cherish have been hard-won by the soldiers of previous generations and by those of this generation who have continued to serve. They are true American heroes, and we are grateful to each and every one of them.
Sacrifice is the truth that we remember and honor on Veterans Day, especially today when sacrifice can too often seem an on-the-decline virtue in American life.
To always honor our veterans is the reason that, in 2005, New York became
the fourth state in the nation to establish a Veterans Hall of Fame. It’s
the reason that in 2006, on Veterans Day, the grand opening of the new
National Purple Heart Hall of Honor took place in New York’s historic
The state Division of Veterans’ Affairs (www.veterans.ny.gov)
was established in 1945 to assist veterans, members of the armed forces,
their families and their dependents. Since then, the division -- in concert
with its offices in counties locally and statewide -- has strongly advocated
But Veterans Day, above all else, draws us to those monuments and memorials in our midst that still, and we hope always, rise up to honor those who have served and sacrificed, and still do.
Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara
Schuyler County Officials
Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Thomas Gifford, Doris Karius, Glenn Larison
Bottom row: Michael A. Yuhasz, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes, Stewart Field
Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687
Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967
Doris L. Karius, 546-5544
Barbara Halpin, 594-3683
Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385
Thomas M. Gifford, 535-9517
Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen 481-0482
Stewart Field, Watkins Glen 535-2335
County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133
Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222
Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222
County Treasurer: Margaret Starbuck, 535-8181
District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383
State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County
Sen. Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senate
State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)
Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Assemblyman Christopher Friend --
Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869