Dutchess County honors veterans

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Colonel Glen Marchi reading the essay from Grace Sojo.

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – The annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Dutchess County War Memorial was held on Monday in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

Marc Coviello, director of Veterans Services for Dutchess County organized the well-attended event that featured remarks from Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.  The county executive thanked the veterans for their dedication to the country and presented a challenge to business owners with regard to unemployment among veterans.  “No serviceman or servicewoman who comes home should have to fight to find a job.  Every veteran in America should have access to employment – they’ve earned their place in line.  And they’ve earned the opportunity to achieve a paycheck.  Let that be the challenge we fulfill.

Coviello noted that Herman Seagal’s name appears on the war memorial.  Seagal graduated from Poughkeepsie High School in 1943 and was killed in battle 11 months later in Anzio, Italy.  Seagal, a private in the Army, was the first Jewish soldier from Poughkeepsie to give his life in battle.

Colonel Glen Marchi, commander of the 56th Area Command for the New York Guard, and commissioner of Dutchess County Office of Computer and Information Services made a special presentation.  The Bronze Star recipient with 35 years of military service worked out an essay contest with Krieger Elementary School in Poughkeepsie over a four-day period.  Marchi and the principal decided to have fifth-graders write an essay on “What Veterans Day Means To Me” and, working with four teachers, Marchi helped picked the winner.  Ten-year-old Grace Sojo was in attendance as Colonel Marchi read the essay.  “Veterans Day is to celebrate the people who served fighting for our freedom,” said Sojo’s essay and also included “I hope that the veterans know that no matter what they do, while they’re serving for us, we are always grateful for them.

Earlier in the day, officers from the City of Poughkeepsie Community Policing Unit and Traffic Division spent some time having coffee and talking with veterans at Liberty Station on North Clinton Street in the city.  According to PBA President and Community Policing Officer Kevin Van Wagner, “It was an opportunity to spend time thanking our Veterans,” and said that he is working on a plan to spend time with veterans on a regular basis at the supportive living facility run by Hudson River Housing.

L-R City of Poughkeepsie Sgt. Badner, Officer Braren, and Officer Van Wagner with Veterans at Liberty Station.