MyRye.com acquired a copy of Mayor Cohn’s remarks from yesterday’s virtual Veterans Day ceremony in Rye. We are sharing them here:
Hi. I am Mayor Josh Cohn.
It is so easy in our current times to be distracted from our fundamentals. A pandemic, national financial distress, hurricanes and fires, a national election, and now comes Veterans Day. No matter the cause, we cannot waver for a moment in reflecting, with thanks, on our veterans. Even as we review the sources of our distraction, it takes only a quick moment of thought about what our present servicemen and women are doing right at this moment to rekindle profound appreciation of their many vital roles. From combat duty to battling COVID, to fighting wildfires, to just plain delivering relief and aid to disaster-stricken and dangerous parts of our country and the world, we must remember the huge dangers faced and sacrifices made by our vets.
To be plain: military service means taking a job that you can’t leave and doing what you are told, even at cost of life and limb – all for modest compensation and the betterment of your nation and your neighbors. Yes, there is training, there is skill building – but the fundamental bargain and the risk it entails remains the same – daunting.
Right now, immediately following a contentious election and during a pandemic, is exactly the right time to appreciate our veterans. It is our veterans who have won us, in test after test, the right to settle it at the polls, as we do. It is our veterans who will set up emergency hospitals, if needed. It is our veterans who bear all degrees of challenge, up to and including mortal risk, for you and for me.
We think first and foremost of the battle accomplishments of our vets, won at tremendous cost, that have assured our way of life. In scanning lists of recent military deaths, however, the loss of life involved in deployment and readiness, in simply training and maintaining, is formidable. The injuries, of course, far outnumber the too-frequent fatalities. This is dangerous, sometimes impossible work, undertaken, day in and day out, for all of us, and for that we all owe.
This huge debt we owe our vets may be discharged (if only in part) by helping our vets find work when they finish service, by making sure they have excellent medical care, and, most of all, by requiring our leaders to recognize that decisions that might put our soldiers at risk are to be made only after the deepest soul
Our veterans are our family and our friends, they represent the best of us, and we, all of us, must give them our best in return.