New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame

Thomas F. O'Mara

June 14, 2011

Albany, N.Y., June 14—At a Flag Day ceremony in Albany earlier today, Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and his state Senate colleagues paid tribute to Philip C. Smith, a highly decorated Korean War combat veteran and well-known figure in Schuyler County government and veterans’ affairs, by inducting him into the Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.

Smith was joined by nearly 50 other veterans, representing state legislative districts from across New York, at an induction ceremony in the Legislative Office Building.  

“It’s a privilege to recognize Phil Smith’s military and civilian service, and to honor his dedication to his family, his country, and his community,” said O’Mara.

Smith’s three children – Deborah Betz, Maureen Colunio, and Philip J. Smith – nominated their father for this year’s award and accompanied him to the capital for today’s induction.  Shown in the photo above following today’s ceremony are, from l. to r.:  Maureen Colunio, Philip C. Smith, Sen. O’Mara, Philip J. Smith, and Deborah Betz.   

In a joint statement, Smith’s children said, "As our father, we know what a wonderful, honorable, kind and generous human being he is.  It is a privilege for us to be able to share his accomplishments with others and to have preserved a record of all that he has given to his family, his community and his country. We love you Dad and are so proud of you."

The Senate established its online Veterans Hall of Fame in 2005.  It’s designed to honor New York veterans whose service in the United States Armed Forces is accompanied by service to the community and accomplishments as a civilian, and includes veterans representing Senate districts from throughout New York State.