MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — With Memorial Day just around the corner, veterans' issues are again beginning to shift into a more prominent place in American discourse. On Sunday, the Mount Kisco American Legion hosted the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 40th Senate District's Veterans Wall of Fame.
The veterans ceremony marked the eleventh stop the traveling wall has made since its November debut at the Putnam County Emergency Services Center Building in Carmel.
At the ceremony, former U.S. Army soldier and Croton-on-Hudson resident Eugene Parrotta was named the 40th District's nominee for the 2012 New York State Veterans’ Hall of Fame.
“Freedom and liberty are the title and deed of the soil we stand on. That price of that freedom and liberty is very expensive. The men on this wall have all paid that price,” said Parrotta, who currently chairs State Senator Greg Ball's (R-C, Patterson) Veterans' Advisory Council.
The Vietnam vet was also honored in Albany on Tuesday when his nomination for the Hall of Fame was officially announced.
Ball, chairman of the state's Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, came up with the project. He said the wall was designed to honor the district's outstanding veterans, who he said embody many honorable traits.
“This wall tells a larger story of courage, of honor, and of integrity,” Ball said. “The rights and privileges we enjoy are protected because of the service of others, and I am proud to present them and their stories by this small gesture of appreciation," he said.
Each city, town and village within the 40th District was asked to nominate a veteran to be honored on the wall.
“Veterans deserve our thanks all year long, not just around one or two holidays,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who was present at the ceremony. State Assemblyman Robert Castelli, a Vietnam vet, was also at the Mt. Kisco American Legion to witness the honors.