PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The City of Peekskill offered a small debt of gratitude that it can never repay on Monday.
The city held its annual Veterans Day ceremony at Monument Park, thanking those who served with words and music.
Hundreds came out to hear patriotic music from the Peekskill High School band, Tim Murphy, play "Amazing Grace" on his bagpipes and Joe Brady perform "Arlington," a song by Trace Adkins.
The event is held annually by Peekskill American Legion Post 274. The American Legion reminded attendees that the needs and priorities of veterans at home and overseas should be met.
"What makes this so special is seeing the community come out," Mayor Mary Foster said. "We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. Thank you to all of our veterans and their families."
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) talked about initiatives the state has done to assist veterans, including a program to help veterans visit schools and talk about experiences. Galef noted November is Military Family Month in New York.
"There are almost 30,000 National Guardsmen and more than 1 million veterans in New York," Galef said. "We stand behind these families. They give so much. They move from place to place and base to base. We honor them and salute their families."
County Legislator John Testa (R-Peekskill) said thanking veterans should be an everyday event and not just reserved for Veterans Day. He said he has fought to keep the federal government from cutting services at the Montrose VA Hospital.
"We need to ensure our veterans get the services they were promised," Testa said. "When they come back home, they need to get the services they need. Twenty percent of all suicides are committed by veterans. We need to make sure they are encouraged to visit their local VA."
Testa closed by reciting a famous quote by Ronald Reagan about the Marines.
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem," Reagan said.
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