BETHLEHEM Every November, veterans around the country are recognized for their service, and the willingness to honor their commitment to the nation appears to be growing.
Albany County officials, along with representatives of local American Legion posts, took the time on Thursday, Nov. 10 to recognize military veterans who now reside at the Kenwood Manor senior facility in Delmar. The ceremony for about 20 seniors came one day before the national recognition of Veterans Day.
Each veteran received a pin from Albany County Executive Michael Breslin, along with two certificates given as a thank you for their service.
The ceremony had special meaning for Steve Riedel, the commander at the Nathaniel Adams Blanchard American Legion Post in Delmar, whose father, Alan, a World War II veteran, was honored for his service.
“We owe them at least a handshake and a thanks, and this is a small token of something we can do,” said Steve Riedel. “When we were contacted about this about two or three months ago, we jumped right on board. It’s not a question of do we want to, we have to.”
Holding ceremonies to honor veterans living at senior care facilities is an idea that has taken off in Rensselaer County. Rich Haldeman is the Long Term Care Ombudsman Coordinator for that county, and said that the thought came to him about three years ago. Haldeman explained how it became clear that there were a number of veterans at a separate ceremony being held at a senior home in the county.
“The program is to honor the veterans in these facilities,” said Haldeman. “Also, it’s to honor the men and women who stayed behind and kept the home fires burning.”
Haldeman was invited to the ceremony in Delmar, as Albany County officials attempt to schedule similar ceremonies around the area.