Once again on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, Hyde Park remembered its unsung heroes in Veterans Day ceremonies held at Town Hall.
Once designated as Armistice Day for the signing of the Versailles Treaty that ended World War I, the annual holiday now honors all veterans of all wars, from the American Revolution to the present action in Afghanistan.
With local American Legion Post 1303 Commander Michael Athanas leading the way, 75 residents turned out to express their thanks and to recall the purpose of this national holiday.
Following the invocation by Rev. Brandon Fitzgerald of Regina Coeli Church, Town Supervisor Aileen Rohr read an essay of support for all veterans. “We are their friends and their families, and we want them to know that we appreciate what they have done for our country,” she said, urging everyone to remember all veterans, especially those in therapy or in medical need because of their recent involvement in military action.
In her address, she mentioned two veterans who lost limbs in battle but found time to go to the assistance of those maimed in the Boston Marathon bombings.
A letter from President George W. Bush praising all veterans was read by Dutchess County Legislator Sue Serino. A second letter from F.J. Clark, Naval Commander of the USS Roosevelt, was read by Rich Perkins, Hyde Park’s second legislative representative. Hyde Park has adopted Commander Clark’s vessel, sending cookie packages to its sailors, and in return, a contingent of sailors from the Roosevelt marched in the town’s 4th of July parade.
Athanas then read the names of deceased military personnel from Hyde Park who were lost in all wars since the Revolution, and he and fellow Legionnaire Ralph Osterhoudt placed an American Legion wreath at the memorial site, alongside another from the Town of Hyde Park.
Among those in attendance were two five-year-olds from Laura Collins’ kindergarten class at North Park Elementary School. Caiden Krom and Sierra Rose Bradford represented their classmates in distributing handmade cards and thank-you plates to the veterans present at the ceremony.
Collins indicated that her students have undertaken a year-long project to honor and thank military personnel and veterans for their service to their country.
The students will be writing letters to veterans, learning of stories from and about local area veterans, and visiting veterans in area nursing homes.
Correction: Due to an editing error, the Nov. 20 article on Veterans Day identified the wrong USS Roosevelt. It was, of course, the DDG-80 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer named for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, not the carrier named for Teddy.