The Village of Suffern’s Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 11 was a fitting way to thank local veterans for their days of service and sacrifice. The event was hosted by Mayor Michael F. Curley, a veteran himself, and the Village of Suffern Board of Trustees, taking place outside Suffern Village Hall in front of the Soldiers Monument on Washington Avenue. A large crowd attended, lining both sides of the street.
After a processional of veterans from American Legion Post 859, followed by local dignitaries and Girl Scout troops 40118 and 40425, as well as Boy Scout Troop 21 and Cub Scout Troop 23, the ceremony commenced with Mayor Curley thanking the crowd for coming out to support these American heroes on the cold fall day. The mayor also shared a short history of the tradition of Veterans Day.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem by Suffern High School student Brody Seltzer, a moment of silence was taken for the veterans that are no longer with us. Father Michael Rafferty, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, also bestowed a blessing on the ceremony. Local dignitaries such as Town of Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht, newly elected District 12 County Legislator Jesse Malowitz and County Clerk Donna Silberman then spoke of the honor and respect that must be paid to the men and women who serve.
Other speakers included Commander Patrick Casper from American Legion Post 859 and Nick Millilio, who read a letter of citation for the Medal of Honor. Last on the list was Congressman Mondaire L. Jones from Nyack, who spoke about how American citizens must remember the lessons, wisdom, passion for public service and founding principles of the United States that veterans exemplify every day by their bravery. The ceremony was concluded by a benediction prayer said by Father Rafferty, as well as an expression of gratitude to all who attended from Mayor Curley. After the event, attendees were invited to the Suffern Community Center for a buffet luncheon BBQ.
Ed Markunas, former mayor of the Village of Suffern and a veteran of the US Coast Guard and the Airforce, as well as an attendee at the event, encouraged civilians to remember that comfort is a gift that American veterans have provided.
“When it’s cold like this, you want to go home, you want to put on sweats and watch TV—you want to be comfortable. And our guys weren’t able to do that in the service. So that’s what you should think about (on Veterans Day). The freedom they gave you to go home and be comfortable.”