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Jun 2015

Memorial Day Ceremony May 2015


Memorial Day Ceremony
At The Veterans of Foreign Wars
Post 9503 in Bayville

Written by: Chris Lundy
   Memorial Day is a time to remember those who did not come home from a war, but veterans ask that people also remember the after effects of those who did come home.
   These comments were made during the Memorial Day ceremony held by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9503 in Bayville. There were about 60 people in the audience, some quite young, gathered behind the post hall in a field, clustering in what patches of shade they could find. Micheal Passeri, outgoing commander of VFW 9503, conducted the ceremony. He said that while we remember the names of the fallen, there are horrors of war that continue even after the soldier is home. There were young men returning home changed forever by Agent Orange. This is similar to the Gulf War vets, who are coming back with mysterious illnesses. 
   The nation also needs to address “an epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder.”
   He urged that when you meet a veteran, in addition to saying your thanks, to engage him or her in a small conversation. Make sure that they are healthy. 
   “If you suspect that something is not right, contact the VFW, police department or mayor’s office, and they’ll get them the help they need,” he said. “The person you help today might be one person we don’t have to memorialize next year.”
Councilman James Byrnes, a Vietnam veteran, spoke about the families left behind.
“We need to honor the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who see that empty plate at the table for the rest of their lives,” he said.
He also shared the stories of two soldiers who were butchered not by enemy fire, but by alleged negligence at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Wreaths and flowers were laid in memory, and “Taps” was played. Council President Judy Noonan gave a prayer. Councilwoman Sophia Gingrich read a proclamation. Councilman John Bacchione spoke about the history of wars.
Alycia Nolen, the president of the Ladies Auxiliary, read a list of soldiers who died since last year’s Memorial Day ceremony.


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