State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) said the patriotic season has begun, with the recent 60th anniversary of V-E Day on May 8th and the upcoming Memorial Day on May 30th.
"We all know and appreciate our veterans for keeping our country safe and free," Senator Farley said, "but do we ever take the time to tell them? Next time you see a local veteran, shake his or her hand and say 'thank you' -- that all of the sacrifices were worth it. Also remember to thank our current military personnel for their service to our country."
V-E Day is the anniversary of the day General Dwight D. Eisenhower formally accepted the surrender of German forces on behalf of the Allies in World War II. V-J Day occurred about three months later on August 15th, when the surrender of the Japanese forces was announced. These anniversaries are important opportunities to observe the sacrifices made by veterans and to remember the victims of this war.
"Memorial Day originally began as a time for the families of Civil War soldiers to commemorate the heroic actions of their deceased family members. Over the years, it came to serve as a commemoration to remember all the U.S. men and women killed or missing in action when serving their country," Senator Farley said.
"We shouldn't wait until our veterans are gone to treasure them. These veterans are living history and we can learn so much from them. They sacrificed so much. Their honorable service to their country during World War II and in other foreign conflicts was courageous because they left their comfortable surroundings and helped to not only protect their nation, but other nations in the fight for freedom," Senator Farley said.
Many people fly the American flag on a regular basis, while others do so for special occasions, such as important U.S. holidays like Memorial Day, Flag Day on June 14th, Independence Day on July 4th and Veterans' Day on November 11th.
"When a flag becomes worn and tattered, it is should be replaced and be disposed of respectfully and properly," Senator Farley said. "Constituents can drop off their old flags to my offices and I will make sure they are handled appropriately. Local veterans and Boy Scout troops have taken the flags from my office and disposed of them with respect."
The Senator's offices are located at 412 Legislative Office Building, Albany; 2430 Riverfront Center, Amsterdam; and 33-41 E. Main St., Johnstown. For more information call, 455-2181 (Albany), 843-2188 (Amsterdam), 762-3733 (Johnstown), or toll-free at (800) 224-5201.