Giving Thanks by Paying Tribute to Our Veterans

Senator Pam Helming

November 27, 2018

November is the month when many of us take the time to remember and embrace the people who have enriched our lives. I have so much to be thankful for, including my beautiful family and the anticipated arrival of my first grandchild.

Being re-elected to serve as your New York State Senator is truly a privilege. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to represent the 54th District and thank you for trusting in my ability and commitment to serve you.

On November 11, we joined together to commemorate Veterans Day, a day set aside to show our appreciation for the men and women who fought to preserve our freedom, defend our way of life, and protect our world. Communities across our region paid tribute to our veterans with recognition ceremonies and other events. Like these Veterans Day events, during the month of November, I will be recognizing veterans from across my district who have been nominated for the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.

Each year, one veteran from every State Senate District is inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. This induction ceremony takes place in May. In 2017, I had the privilege of inducting U.S. Navy veteran Mike Bowen, of Seneca Falls. The 2018 inductee was U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Edward Butts Jr., of Union Springs.

The response to our request for 2019 Hall of Fame nominations was incredible. We received 120 nominations for veterans from across the six counties that I represent. This includes 37 veterans from Ontario County, 35 in Wayne County, 19 in Seneca County, 17 in Cayuga County, nine in the Town of Webster, and three in the Town of Lansing. These veterans’ service ranges from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War to the Vietnam War and Cold War to the Persian Gulf War and modern-day conflicts, and they served in all five branches of the military.

All 120 veterans will be honored and celebrated with a series of veteran recognition events. These ceremonies will take place on November 27 in Seneca Falls, November 28 in Canandaigua, November 29 in Webster and Williamson, and November 30 in Auburn.

To the people who took the time to nominate veterans, I thank you. It means a great deal to so many. Of course, I also cannot say thank you enough to all of our veterans. You are the reason we are able to enjoy the rights and freedoms that we have as American citizens.

It is fitting that we mark the spirit of Veterans Day by paying tribute to our veterans and also mark the spirit of Thanksgiving by showing our gratitude for their service and sacrifice.