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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara
ALBANY, Nov. 12 -- Across our region, and throughout the state and nation, we observed this year's Veterans Day with our troops still engaged in the war against terror and at a time when the world’s political stage remains embroiled in uncertainty and instability.
It is truly a momentous and dangerous time in world history, and so our annual tribute to America’s veterans was especially meaningful. In local ceremonies and observances around the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, so many citizens came together to honor the sacrifices and the victories of our soldiers – past, present and future.
I always like to recall former President Ronald Reagan standing tall on the coast of France on June 6, 1984, offering words to commemorate the 40th anniversary of D-Day, “We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”
Always remember. Always be proud. Freedom. These fundamental American principles still echo the very reasons for our nation’s founding and her endurance as the world’s great democracy.
Over the past weekend individual citizens of every age and walk of life
joined public officials, veterans and veterans’ families to reaffirm
our pride in America’s servicemen and servicewomen and, of course,
to turn our thoughts and prayers to those young soldiers whom we’ve
lost from here at home – including, most recently in Afghanistan,
United States Army Specialist Ryan P. Jayne of Corning and, earlier this
year, United States Marine Corporal Christopher D. Bordoni of Ithaca.
Throughout the past year we’ve also had occasions to remember other
young, local soldiers who’ve
They are true American heroes, and we are grateful to each and every one of them.
One way that New York government seeks to constantly honor the service of our veterans has been through the creation of state agencies and legislative committees devoted to the development and administration of programs and services that seek to address the many challenges facing today’s veterans in areas such as health care, employment and education. For example, the state Division of Veterans Affairs was established in 1945 to assist veterans, members of the armed forces, their families and their dependents. Since then, the division -- in concert with its local offices in counties across New York -- has strongly advocated for New York’s 1.2 million veterans and veterans’ issues at the local, state and national levels. It’s a proud history of service.
Additionally, each house of the state Legislature has established a
veterans committee dedicated to these affairs. In the Senate, the Veterans,
Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee concentrates each and
every legislative session to identify and formulate legislative responses
to the challenges confronting our veterans. One of this year’s new
laws, for example, created a Veterans’ Jobs Bank within the state
Division of Veterans’ Affairs to assist returning servicemen and
servicewomen in finding employment (Senate Bill Number 7766, Chapter 269
of the Laws of
To always honor our veterans is the reason that the New York State Senate has seen fit to establish a Veterans Hall of Fame. Earlier this year I paid tribute to one area veteran, World War II combat veteran and well-known Chemung County historian J. Arthur “Archie” Kieffer, by inducting him into the Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.
Veterans Day is a meaningful way that we, as citizens of the United States of America, collectively show our support for our troops – and keep them, always, in our hearts and minds.
Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara
Schuyler County Officials
Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Thomas Gifford, Doris Karius, Glenn Larison
Bottom row: Michael A. Yuhasz, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes, Stewart Field
Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687
Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967
Doris L. Karius, 546-5544
Barbara Halpin, 594-3683
Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385
Thomas M. Gifford, 535-9517
Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen 481-0482
Stewart Field, Watkins Glen 535-2335
County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133
Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222
Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222
County Treasurer: Margaret Starbuck, 535-8181
District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383
State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County
Sen. Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senate
State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)
Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Assemblyman Christopher Friend --
Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869