New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), SenatorCaesar Trunzo and the rest ofLong Island’s state Senate delegation today received a major push in their effort to create a New York Veterans Hall of Fame, as hundreds of Long Island veterans rallied in support of the plan at the American Airpower Museum, in Farmingdale.
SenatorSkelossaid, "New Yorkers from Teddy Roosevelt to Colin Powell, and from the battlefields of Long Island to Baghdad, have shown extraordinary valor and courage in defense of freedom. Their service and accomplishments earn them the special recognition that only a Hall of Fame can provide, as a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration."
"New York is already home to Halls of Fame that recognize great baseball players, soccer players, wrestlers, even thoroughbred race horses. Our real heroes, the men and women who have served - and continue to serve - our country, deserve no less," said Senator Trunzo (R, Brentwood), a U.S. Army veteran who is sponsor of the Hall of Fame plan.
The Hall would honor legendary leaders and everyday soldiers whose deeds and accomplishments both in combat and in civilian life merit special commendation. Included in that group are the nation-leading 663 New Yorkers that have earned the Congressional Medal of Honor - more than one-fifth of the total.
Senator Michael Balboni, chairman of the committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, said, "We owe the freedom we cherish today to the extraordinary acts of veterans who served throughout our country’s history. With this Hall of Fame we will honor and recognize their service on the battlefield and here at home."
Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), said, "The men and women of our military are true heroes. They place their lives on their line in their commitment to protecting the freedoms we treasure. They are indeed worthy of every recognition and the Hall of Fame is a fitting tribute of our respect and gratitude."
Senator’s Trunzo’s legislation (S.431-A) provides for the creation of an 18-member council of veterans from across the state which will determine the location and design of the facility and establish the rules for nominating and inducting veterans.