Rye Mayor Doug French sent along his comments from Veteran's Day this past Friday and we though we'd share them here on MyRye.com:
Good morning and thank you Post Commander.
To the members of American Legion Rye Post 128 and their families — as Mayor, there are many ceremonies that I am invited to, but few are more profound to me than to stand here with the veterans and heroes of Rye. There is no praise that can match the magnitude of your service and sacrifice – a sacrifice that not only bonds veterans, but ultimately bonds us all as Americans.
Thanks to each of one of you who are here today to be part of this ceremony. It says a lot that you are here.And look around, this is a reflection of our community – as we stand together as One Community, One City and One Country to pay tribute. I am particularly pleased to see our youngest generation represented here.
I come from a generation when Veterans Day was about looking back – and remembering wars of the past. But now the circle is complete, because now it is also about looking ahead — at the wars we are facing – and a new generation of veterans is being called upon. So our way of saying thank you is about respecting and honoring the veterans who have served — and helping and supporting the veterans of tomorrow.
In the words of George Washington – “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”
And we see that circle, a circle of life that connects our generations. A circle we see right here in Rye before our eyes with the Dempsey family. As we honor the service of Ed Dempsey – one of our distinguished Rye veterans, and at the same time, we salute his two grandsons who have raised their hands to serve and have joined the military. And behind each soldier is a family and a story, an American story that defines America. I quote from Army Officer Deborah Parker, “Our soldiers are courageous men and women – so different in background and heritage who reach a moment in their lives when race and religion, creed and color made no difference. What remains is the essence of America.”
And so this ceremony is our way of saying thank you. And more than a public event we need to say it in our private thoughts and actions – and deliver a renewed commitment to those who have made a commitment to America. Thank you.