Thank you to our veterans and their families for their selfless sacrifice

The Enterprise — Michael Koff
“It’s about our community”: Former Westerlo resident of 19 years, Luke McDermott spoke to the crowd about how he got into the Marines and how living here showed him about the town’s love of their veterans.

To the Editor:
The Westerlo Hometown Heroes Committee was busy last month hosting two events.

The first event, our 5th Annual Hometown Heroes Closing Ceremony, held at the Baptist Church of Westerlo, concluded the 2022 banner program. Twenty new local veterans were honored with individual banners throughout the town for a total of over 120 banners in five years.

The ceremony recognized this year’s veterans for their bravery and sacrifice in service to our country. Veterans and/or their family were formally presented with their banners.

During Veterans Day weekend, the committee dedicated a Veterans’ Garden. The tribute area is located in the newly renamed and rededicated Town of Westerlo Veterans Memorial Park.

The committee installed, with the help of the town of Westerlo and the Town of Westerlo Highway Department, a designated area to pay tribute to all who have and are currently serving in the armed forces.

The Veterans’ Garden includes seven 25-foot solar-lit flagpoles displaying the American flag and flags for each branch of the military, a granite monument in tribute to all veterans, a POW/MIA [prisoner of war/missing in action] monument and a Battlefield Cross.

The dedication ceremony featured performances by the Village Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps and Evelyn Lawton. Speakers included Stephanie Hamilton; Greene County Blue Star Mothers; and keynote speaker Marine Corporal Luke McDermott, a Purple Heart recipient.

Successful events are due in large part to the committees that organize them. We are lucky to have a strong, hardworking, dedicated and multi-talented committee. Everyone has a strength that they bring to the table to make these things possible.

Thanks go out to our chairperson, Amie Burnside, as well as fellow committee members, Cricket Elderd, Betty Filkins, Ricky and Rachel Haley Sr., Matt and Becky Kryzak, Beau O’Loendorf, and June Sherman.

Programs such as these, are huge undertakings, ones we would not have been able to complete without the help and generosity of so many members of our community. All it takes is a lot of people doing just a little bit here and there to help make these programs the success that they are.

Both events were made possible by many who deserve thanks. If we have accidently forgotten to mention anyone by name, please know that their contribution has not gone unnoticed and is most     appreciated.

There are so many in our community who are incredibly generous. Sometimes it is difficult to remember them all. Whenever possible, our committee hopes you will support these generous businesses and at the very least express your thanks for their generosity:

— Isabella Adinolfi;

— Albany County Department of Public Works;

— Albany County Legislature;

— The Albany County Sheriff’s Office;

— Jennifer, George III, Jaclyn, and Allison Albert;

— Craig Apple;

— The Bank of Greene County;

— Beverwyck Independent Senior Living;

— Pastor Boger, First Baptist Church of Westerlo;

— Trevor Burnside;

— Dennis and Sue Fancher;

— First Baptist Church of Westerlo;

— Richard Brumley, past chaplain and past commander Helderberg Post 977 of Altamont and present vice commander 3rd District Albany County;

— Carver Companies;

— Zach Collins;

— Cottonwood Creek Veterinary Services;

— Greenville American Legion Post 291;

— Stephanie Hamilton, president at Greene County Region NY13 Blue Star Mothers;

— Hannay Reels;

— Liz Joy;

— Elma Houck;

— Kelly’s Pharmacy;

— Westerlo Supervisor Matthew Kryzak;

— Hilltown Landscaping;

— Evelyn Lawton;

— Donald and Danielle Lee;

— Albany County Executive Dan McCoy;

— McDermott’s Automotive;

— Marine Corporal Luke McDermott;

— Rosemary McHugh, confidential administrator to Supervisor Matt Kryzak;

— Multi-Phase Construction;

— Maria Murzda;

— Myers Family;

— Norwich University’s elite regimental drill team, Shock Platoon, and its bugler;

— The O’Loendorfs;

— Catherine James and Michael Orozco;

— Highway Superintendent Jody Ostrander;

— Patriot Guard Riders;

— Ken Secor, director of Albany County Veterans Services Bureau;

— Brody Shaver;

— Chris Smith;

— Stanton Farms;

— Assemblyman Chris Tague;

— Taylor Monuments;

— Tedeschi Family;

— Town Line Auto;

— Town Line Motorsports;

— Tracy Mance, 518 LLC;

— Village Volunteers Fife and Drum;

— Karla Weaver, Westerlo town clerk;

— Westerlo Boy Scout Troop 1079;

— Westerlo Country Store;

— Westerlo Highway Department;

— Westerlo Rural Cemetery;

— Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company;

— Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary;

— Weston Kennels; and

— WM Biers Company.

Salute to all who donated, helped, and attended but most of all thank you to our veterans and their families for their selfless sacrifice.

Lisa DeGroff

Committee member


Hometown Heroes

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