Highland Falls hosts annual tribute to veterans

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HIGHLAND FALLS – The Village of Highland Falls hosted its second annual ceremony to pay tribute to local military veterans dead and alive to mark Armed Forces Day.

This year’s event kicked off its program of hanging banners to commemorate different local veterans by honoring Ivan Lee Ramsey, who served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

It was special for Highland Falls Chamber of Commerce President Jim Modlin, who is a veteran and whose father will be one of the honorees this year.

“I think we can never do enough for those that are serving, but I think the attitude and opinion the American people have of veterans is so positive,” he said. “It’s different now how veterans are looked at versus how they were looked at back then.”

A $2,000 check was presented to the O’Connor-Doyle American Legion Post 633, with Air Force veteran Bob Quintavella accepting. The check represents all the proceeds made from the banners that will be hung up this year.

“I have great humility and gratitude,” said Quintavella. “The Post 633 can use it at this time, and it’s really such an honor to get the notice.” 

Modlin and his friend, U.S. Army veteran and deputy to the Garrison Commander in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, collaborated to find a way to uplift the local veterans in a community with close ties to the military academy.

“I thought it was a great way for the community to recognize those who have served us,” said Thomas Cowan. “It shows hometown America celebrating regular citizens who have given their time to serve their country.”

Cowan also recognizes how the federal government is increasingly paying attention to veterans’ affairs.

“I think [President Trump]’s agenda is headed in the right direction,” he said. “They do value the military and I look forward to the opportunity to see their path forward as they serve veterans.”

About 79 banners will be hung this year around the town until Veterans Day in November.