Smith: “… the price of freedom”
NEWBURGH – The “Greatest Generation” is rapidly disappearing
but two World War II veterans were among about 200, many in uniform, attending
the annual Pearl Harbor remembrance on the Newburgh waterfront Friday
Keynote speaker for the event was Peter Olympia, Jr., a Newburgh native still living in the area. He is also a veteran, a businessman and has been involved in many community service activities.
Olympia said there is one thing that unites the almost 2,400 who died
at Pearl Harbor and the tens of thousands who have fallen for their country
“They fought and died not for the glory of battle but for the price of freedom. Who were those who died? Who were those who were wounded? They were representatives of pretty much all the ordinary people of the United States. They are all extraordinary.”
They were black, white, brown, rich, poor, from cities like Newburgh and small ones like Middle Hope or Walden, Olympia said. They were Americans.
The 45-minute ceremony included music by the Newburgh Free Academy band and chorus and a demonstration by the school’s drill team.
It ended with the traditional tossing of floral wreaths into the Hudson by several veteran groups.
Veterans remembering comrades in arms who died 77 years ago