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Westchester Honors Fallen Warriors at Rye Playland

RYE, N.Y. – Westchester County gave the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for the United States their due with a ceremony at Playland Amusement Park in Rye on Sunday afternoon.

Various veterans’ groups, students, current military personnel and supporters showed their gratitude as County Executive Rob Astorino said that Memorial Day is a time of remembrance and reflection for Americans.

He said the only thing to fear at Playland Amusement Park is the drops and the turns on the Dragon Coaster. “It doesn’t matter where our troops are stationed in the world because they live with the fear of the unknown every day,” Astorino said. “They are not on an amusement park ride that they can get off of. We are here to honor our fathers, mother, aunts and uncles who selflessly gave their lives so we can enjoy life and liberty.”

Vito Pinto, a Vietnam War veteran and director of the Westchester County Veterans Services Agency, said that the fallen soldiers gave their tomorrows so we can enjoy today adding that he was proud to see so many students and veterans in attendance. Michael Gillan, associate vice president for veterans affairs at Fordham University, said that Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices others made for their country.

“When we think about the Fourth of July we celebrate our independence but it is Memorial Day that celebrates those who died so we can maintain it,” Gillan said. “We are the land of the free because of the brave.”

After the singing group Rhythms of Rye sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," Astorino read off the list of soldiers who were killed in action in both Afghanistan and Iraq adding that the county has a Veterans Services Agency that is always ready to help veterans and their families.

“We will help you get through the red tape to get you what you need,” Astorino said.

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