Brewster, N.Y. – (1/12/11) – Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) unveiled his traveling Veterans’ Wall of Fame Thursday evening at John Jay Middle School in Cross River, NY. The wall pays tribute to the twenty-seven veterans from throughout the Hudson Valley who were honored at a Veterans’ Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony back in November. Each city, town and village within the Senator’s district was asked to nominate a Veteran.
“The Veterans whose faces grace this wall were nominated by their communities, hand-picked because they chose a path of courage, honor, integrity and bravery,” Ball said. “It is a path that helped shape America as we know it, protecting our way of life and liberty.”
Retired Private First Class Robert Joseph Williams of Lewisboro is one of the twenty-seven Veterans whose picture and story appears on the wall. Williams was unable to attend the ceremony due to an illness. Supervisor Charlie Duffy accepted a proclamation on his behalf, which deemed January 12th“Robert Williams Day”.
A successful small business owner and floor maintenance contractor, Williams joined the United States Army on September 23, 1942, and was assigned to the 45th Infantry Division as a machine gunner until his discharge on November 23, 1945. In addition to the Good Conduct Medal, Williams earned Campaign Ribbons for Sicily, Italy, Corsica, Southern France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Southern Germany, plus a Spearhead for the first wave of the Invasion of Sicily.
Williams currently sits on the executive board of the Lewisboro Senior Adults, runs its Fishing Derby, and participates at Inter-Generational Day for the Elementary Schools twice a year. Each year, he lectures at John Jay Middle School, discussing the Civil War, World War I, and World War II with the students.
Eugene Parrotta, one of the Wall of Fame honorees and the President of Senator Ball’s Veterans Advisory Council, said this is the best way to teach the community about the importance of our Veterans.
“What happens to Veterans like myself is that they are totally forgotten. That should never happen,” Parrotta said. “Every man, woman and child that come in contact with that Veterans’ Wall of Fame should know that there was a sacrifice made so that they can keep their normal, everyday life.”
John Jay Middle School Principal Richard Leprine said the wall, which was place in the school’s main corridor, provides a great opportunity for students to learn about their local Veterans who served our country.
“I think it will be a great learning experience for our kids to be able to view this wall,” Leprine said. “What’s special about it is that many of these Veterans are from our school district or neighboring towns.”
The wall will tour local municipalities throughout the 40th district. The wall will be on display at John Jay Middle School for a week before it moves to Yorktown High School on January 17th. Other future stops include:
February 16th-21st Haldane High School
February 28th-March 8th Hendrick on Hudson High School
March 8th-16th Putnam Valley High School
March 16th-23rd Mahopac High School
March 23rd-April 3rd Webutuck High School
For a full list of the Veterans that were honored please click here.
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Brittany Oat: (845) 200-9716.