November 12, 2017




Veterans Day celebrated across Putnam

Bundled up for winter, veterans recall the sacrifices made during wars that have kept America free

PUTNAM COUNTY – Arctic cold along with golden sunshine and glorious blue skies greeted scores of veterans Saturday when Putnam County observed Veterans Day.

At the Lake Carmel monument with the temperature at a bone chilling 22 degrees and winds blowing off the lake, Director of Veterans Affairs Karl Rohde thanked the hearty two dozen attendees for “remembering our vets.”

In Mahopac, some 150 were on hand for a parade and ceremony while events in Brewster, Putnam Valley, Cold Spring, Patterson and Putnam Lake also paid tribute to America’s veterans.

Rohde recalled the history of Veterans Day. “On November 11, 1918, after four years of war, allied and German powers met in France to sign an armistice that halted the hostilities of World War I. The agreement was signed at 5 a.m. and went into effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 finally bringing to an end the carnage of the Great War — the war thought by many to be the war that would end all wars.”

In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower renamed the day Veterans Day to honor the service of veterans from all wars.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell told observances in Kent and Brewster: “Veterans, you have our deepest gratitude.”

A special ceremony was held in Purdys to honor a former Putnam County World War II hero who died in the line of duty.

Marine Corps Sgt. Philip Doyle was killed in Okinawa on May 20, 1945.

Doyle was awarded the Silver Star as well as a Presidential Unit Citation for his “extraordinary heroism against enemy Japanese forces during the assault and capture of Okinawa.”

Dr. Dan Doyle of Carmel told the ceremony Saturday outside the Purdys School, “Units of his division withstood overwhelming artillery and mortar barrages, repulsed furious counterattacks and staunchly pushed over the rocky terrain to reduce impregnable defenses and capture Sugar Hill Loaf.”

After a mortar round ended Phil Doyle’s life, he was buried in the Sixth Marine Cemetery in Okinawa. When the cemetery was moved years later, Sgt. Doyle’s remains were sent back to the U.S. and buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Somers.

A flagpole that had been placed in front of the former St. Joseph’s School on Croton Falls Road at the Carmel town line was moved when the school closed and on Saturday it was rededicated at its new location – in front of the Purdys School off Route 22 – in memory of the Putnam war hero.

Relative James Doyle told the gathering, “By remembering him, we remember all who have given their lives in service to these United States of America.”

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