Editor, The Spotlight:
Ours is a nation where opportunity is limitless, where freedom is a way of life and sometimes we take that for granted. It is our responsibility to stop and think, if just for an hour or two, about the generations of military members who have left loved ones behind to protect our freedoms and way of life.
I am proud of my military service and the fact that as county executive I have worked closely with elected officials and military groups in our community to recognize veterans for their service. Each month the county holds its Honor-A-Vet ceremony where we bestow recognition on a member of the armed services. We recently honored former Governor Hugh Carey, who in addition to his long and distinguished record as Governor and a member of Congress, served in the Army during World War II. The highlight of that ceremony was meeting and talking to Governor Carey’s grandchildren, who carry on his legacy. Governor Carey served his country and his state with honor and dignity.
I continue to be humbled by the various ways local veterans groups have stepped up to make sure that the more than 1,000 local service members who died in combat are remembered. One such effort is “Please Remember Me,” a grassroots effort led by Joe Pollicino, Gene Loparco and Thomas Regan. These men served their country during the Vietnam War and wanted to do something special to show appreciation for veterans. The three have led an all-volunteer effort to place 140 American flags along Route 9 from Albany to Route 155 in Colonie. The campaign begins on May 18 and will be in place until after July 4.
This is a tremendous show of patriotism and community spirit and it comes from the heart. The three men had friends who paid the ultimate price for their service and wanted to find a way to show the community that those who have died will never be forgotten. They deserve our support and gratitude for their effort and for giving of their time for others. In addition to the flag display, the group is raising money to restore the Albany County Vietnam Memorial in Academy Park in Albany.
These men didn’t have to undertake this effort but did so out of a sense of duty, much like the men and women who still answer the call to service their country. That is what makes Albany County such a great place to live and work. People come together to give our veterans a special memorial and to protect their memory.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy