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Westchester Military Men Reflect on Memorial Day

RYE, N.Y. – West Harrison resident John Hamill, who served in the 3rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army as a sniper from 1957-59, said that Memorial Day reminds him of the uncles he never got to meet because they were killed in action in World War II.

“We had a small family when I was growing up when we should have had a large one,” Hamill said. “Memorial Day is a big honor to them and the others who passed away serving our country.”

Memorial Day began after the Civil War to commemorate Union soldiers but Southerners also used the day to honor fallen Confederate soldiers as well. By the 20th century, Memorial Day became the holiday that it is today as it honors all the fallen American soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“A lot of people will take this holiday as a day off but we as veterans are trying to open their eyes to the true meaning of it,” said Bill Minck of White Plains, who served with the 1st Tank Battalion of the U.S. Marines during the 1980s. “It’s about all of our brothers and sisters who gave their lives and those who were wounded in battle and they should be honored every day of the year.”

Cadet 2nd Lt. Max Rogovin, a White Plains resident serving in the Civil Air Patrol of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary said that Memorial Day is a real fitting tribute to those who gave their lives for the greater good. Rogovin said that it is only proper to pay tribute to those brave men and women. Cadet Staff Sgt. Adrian Kahaner, a Pelham resident serving in the Civil Air Patrol said that Memorial Day is all about giving respect to all of America’s armed forces.

“These are the people who kept us safe,” Kahaner said. “We want to thank them and help them for all they’ve done for us over the years.”

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