OP-ED BY SENATOR GREG BALL: THIS VETERANS DAY DON’T JUST SAY THANK YOU, SHOW THANK YOU
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the major hostilities of World War I formally ended. The following year, US President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed a US holiday, Armistice Day, to commemorate those that were killed during the war. In 1954, legislation was signed by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day honoring all veterans, both living and dead.
This year as we mark the 95th anniversary of World War I and pause to remember those that have served, I encourage you to thank a veteran for their service. Do this by not just saying thank you, but by showing thank you. Let me explain.
As the Chairman of the New York State Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, I have a unique opportunity to be a voice for our veterans and to host numerous community events to honor their service.
As you well know, actions speak much louder than words. This is a phrase I take to heart and that’s why this Veterans Day I am challenging you to join me and take your patriotism to the next level. Let’s not just say thank you, let’s show our veterans just how thankful we truly are.
Here are three examples of ways you can show thank you this Veterans Day:
1) Volunteer or donate for the 3rd Annual Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner. Each year I partner with local scouts, school groups, sports teams and hundreds of volunteers to host a free Thanksgiving Dinner for our local veterans. I urge anyone that wants to give back to those that gave so much to us, to help us in the planning efforts of this dinner. To see the smile on the vets’ faces as they walk into the room, makes the dinner worth it every year.
2) Join our New York State Senate Task Force to help renovate a home for a local service connected disabled veteran. We have teamed up with Purple Heart Homes and 2013 CNN Hero nominee Dale Beatty to work on this project. We are currently seeking a qualifying service connected disabled veteran, as well as a home to renovate.
3) Nominate a veteran for the 3rd Annual Veterans Hall of Fame. The 3rd class of veterans will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at the Mahopac Falls Elementary School at 6pm. We are still seeking veterans from the towns / villages of Briarcliff Manor, New Castle, Pound Ridge or Sleepy Hollow, please contact my office if you know someone you would like to nominate. The public is also invited and encouraged to attend the Hall of Fame Ceremony.
This past September, I had the honor of bringing dozens of World War II veterans to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington DC and also to tour Bolling Air Force Base. While at Bolling Air Force Base we were reminded of a speech about freedom given by Ronald Reagan before he became President. Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
We must continue to honor our veterans and always work to keep America’s promise to these heroes. Join me this Veterans Day to show your appreciation to those that gave so much for us. If you would like to get involved in any of these events or have an idea for other ways to honor our veterans, please contact my office at (845) 279-3773 or email me at email@example.com.
State Senator Greg Ball
40th Senate District
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 531-9796.