Story by Lon Tytell
The Memorial Day Service, held at the Arthur Finnegan American Legion Post #1443 on Mon., May 29, was well attended by members of the Greenwood Lake Community. This year, for the first time, Vice Commander Thomas Mulcahy served as the Master of Ceremonies. He paid tribute to Thomas Ryan, who passed away recently and who had been in charge of the Memorial Day Service for over 20 years.
Mulcahy spoke of the approximately one million members of the Armed Services who paid the ultimate price. He thanked the dignitaries, the members of the Ambulance Corps, the Police and Fire Departments, the members of the American Legion Post, the Ladies Auxiliary, the Sons of the Legion, the Gaelic Society, the Soccer Club, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, and others who came to the service despite the rain.
Father Robert Sweeney, the Post Chaplain, gave an opening prayer stating, ”We are gathered to honor our fallen brothers and sisters, comrades all, some who survived the turmoil of war and lived to continue their duty to God and Country. Still others made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, in service to their fellow citizens.”
Sweeney also spoke of the significance of the objects found on the POW/MIA table set for one. Richard McKenna, outgoing Post Commander, said that the rain outside was symbolic of the tears of the families who lost their loved ones.
In his remarks, Orange County Legislator Barry Cheney offered a reminder saying, “Let us also remember the service men and women who fought and lived, but who live with the consequences of war, including both physical and emotional trauma…May they find peace in their living.”
Town of Warwick Councilman Floyd DeAngelo, a member of the Greenwood Lake American Legion Post, then offered these thoughts, “Although I will never forget my friends who lost their lives in Vietnam, this Memorial Day caused me to think about all my family members who served in the Armed Forces.“
DeAngelo mentioned his relatives and the relatives of his wife, Nancy, saying, “Although many of them are no longer with us, the memory of their service remains with me on this Memorial Day and I shall be forever thankful for their sacrifices and service as I am for yours, my fellow Legionnaires.”
The next speaker, Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton said, “Our Town has had its share of sacrifice. Their names stand out on the plaques in Town Hall and they remind us of the immense cost of freedom. Today we pause to remember and pay tribute to those who died. It is our duty to be thankful for our freedoms; this will insure that our brave heroes have not died in vain.”
Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer thanked the Armed Forces personnel around the world and the first responders in the community who serve every day. He also spoke of laying the wreaths in the Village, with the help of outgoing Post Commander, Richard McKenna.
Teresa Williams, Second Vice President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Greenwood Lake American Legion, along with Legionnaires Gerry Brewer and Bernie White, then read the names of all the departed members of the Legion.
The ceremony concluded outside with the laying of wreaths around the monuments in front of the American Legion building, a gun salute, and the raising of the American Flag. All those in attendance were then treated to a barbeque.