November 13, 2017




Veterans Day ceremony held at Dutchess War Memorial

A local Boy Scout helps Poughkeepsie Town Supervisor Jon Baisley place a wreathe
at the Dutchess County War Memorial

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dozens gathered at the Dutchess County War Memorial in Poughkeepsie to mark Veterans Day in honor of local military veterans.

Throughout the ceremony, all who spoke offered their thanks to both veterans and people in the community who show their support for the military.

County Veterans Affairs Director Nelson Eddy Rivera (Navy, ret.) said the country owes a lot to its veterans.

“The story of America has been written in large part by the deeds of our veterans, deeds that bind us to our past, inspire us in the present and strengthen us to meet the challenge of the future,” Rivera said.

“Veterans Day is a special day in everybody’s heart,” Baisley said. “These ladies and gentlemen are the ones who have made us and this country who we are today. Without these people, we wouldn’t be standing here doing what we’re doing.”

This year’s guest speaker was State Senator Sue Serino, who also took part in the wreath laying over the memorial. She praised the community’s efforts, especially those of local high school students, in honoring veterans in the week leading up to Veterans Day.

“There were 35 students out at John Jay High School setting up the flag at 5:30 in the morning,” Serino said. “How awesome is that?” It’s so important to engage our young children.”

Poughkeepsie Town Supervisor Jon Baisley gave welcoming remarks for the ceremony.

Serino spoke highly of Nelson Eddy Rivera, who served in the U.S. Navy and is now set to retire from his post as the director of the Dutchess County Veterans’ Services department in January.

Rivera offered his own remarks in response.

“It’s with heartbreak that I do this,” he said of his retirement. “You don’t know what you veterans mean to me and Christina [his wife]. We live and breathe you guys every day. We love what we do; we live in a free world because of what you have done.”

Kelle Farinacci of the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health performed the National Anthem, “Amazing Grace” and “God Bless America” for all who attended. Other guests included the Poughkeepsie High School Air Force JROTC and Pastor Michael Grazioso of the Full Gospel Center in Lagrangeville.


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