Veterans Day Commemoration Held In Plattsburgh
Veterans gathered at the oval on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base this morning for an annual Veterans Day ceremony.
Each year the Plattsburgh chapter of the Disabled American Veterans sponsors a Veterans Day ceremony at the Plattsburgh Barracks Veterans Park and MIA memorial wall.
Dave Rabideau sported a denim jacket embroidered with “Rabbi.” He explained that while he is not actually a rabbi – that’s his road name - he is chaplain for the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association. He and other members come to this DAV commemoration every year. “Most of us are tied in with the DAV and the community and the Honor Flight. We’re all from the local area. It’s important to us. It’s the remembrance of our brothers and sisters in the military and their sacrifices.”
Veteran Tom Dufore was thinking of his Vietnam army service. “I remember my brothers that I lost over in Vietnam. The public needs to realize that they should take part in the ceremonies because it isn’t just for veterans, it’s for Americans. This is an American event, not just veterans.”
Clinton County Veterans Services Agency and former DAV chapter Commander Steve Bowman led the ceremony. “Today is a day for us to remember the veterans that served this nation, to keep all veterans in our thoughts and in our prayers. Many of the names on these walls are veterans who have passed, but there are also those that are still with us. And today is for us to commemorate their military service and to thank them.”
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik calls Veterans Day an important opportunity to thank members of the military for their service. She is working on a number of bills, including help for military caregivers. “The caregivers’ program in the V.A. was started after 9-11 to provide support for our wounded warriors, the caregivers that take care of them. There’s a backlog in the program. So my bill ensures that we can streamline the process and actually get back to our veterans and respond to our caregivers and provide the support they need.”
Standing sentinel over Veterans Park are military service flags. Each year during the Veterans Day ceremony, Steve Bowman gives the command to lower them for the winter. “The location of this park of course close to Lake Champlain has a lot of wind during the wintertime. It has been tradition for us here at the Veterans Park that we lower our service flags. So if I can ask veterans to please lower the flags.”
“Now we’ll have the playing of Taps”
Steve Bowman: “The biggest thing that the community can remember, especially those that have never served in the military or have no ties, is remember those that have served. They served unquestionably and gave their all for this nation. Some of us were lucky enough to serve a full career and come back. But those that lost their lives need to be memorialized. And remember everything that the military has given this nation. Without our military men and women we wouldn’t have all the freedoms that we have today.”
Stefanik’s office is collecting stories from veterans across the district and sharing them on her Facebook and web pages to highlight their service to the nation.