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American Legion Post 701 and Amsterdam Polish American Veterans offer a military salute during the town of Florida’s Memorial Day service Sunday evening in the town’s veterans park.

20 Year Army Veteran and Iraq war Vet Mike Staley and Donna Cappadona look at the steel from the South Tower that is now at the Veterans Park

Taps by Mr Luciano Loffredo

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A time for reflection in the town of Florida

Monday, May 26, 2014 - Updated: 10:14 AM

By KAREN WEINHEIMER

For The Recorder

TOWN OF FLORIDA -- As Sunday afternoon turned into evening, a large crowd comprised of veterans, family members young and old, friends, dignitaries and two therapy dogs gathered at the town Veterans National War Memorial Park to honor the memories of those who gave their lives serving and preserving their nation and freedom.

Joseph Inglese, military liaison and board member of the park, was the master of ceremonies for the evening. He welcomed Congressman Paul Tonko, Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarara, Amsterdam schools Superintendent Thomas Perillo, guest speaker retired Maj. Daniel Colvin, USMC, and David Anderson, accompanied by therapy dog, Dakota. Each spoke of the importance of remembering those who made the supreme sacrifice to maintain our country's freedom.

Monuments for World War II, the Vietnam War and a War Dog Memorial were blessed by the Rev. Lawrence Decker.

The War Dog Memorial, endowed by David Anderson, is unique in that it is believed to be the only monument in the nation to honor the often-forgotten canine heroes who have served the country during wartime.

The park is also the new home to a hulk of twisted, tormented steel from World Trade Center Tower 2. Chained to the flatbed of a truck, it will son have its own home in the field of memorials.

A new paving stone was set in place to honor Korean War veteran John Jacobs.

As the sun set over the valley, three gun shots and "Taps" closed the commemorative service.

Inglese said he was pleased with the large turnout. The touching ceremony upheld the mission statement of the park: "Lest we forget that our friends and neighbors have given so much of themselves to preserve our way of life as a free nation."

     

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