Honoring Putnam County Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day 2020, the Putnam County Historian’s Office has released a video slideshow featuring images from the Putnam County Service Medal Ceremony from June 2019, featuring World War II and Korean War Veterans.

“It’s nice to remember a time when we could all safely gather for a ceremony honoring our heroes,” says Michael Bartolotti, Putnam County Clerk, who is also a member of the Service Medal Committee.  “Although many of us cannot be together for traditional Veterans Day ceremonies during the pandemic, we’re pleased to offer this virtual experience as a tribute to those who participated in that historic event.”

In 1919, Putnam County issued a service medal to recognize the service of its residents in World War I, the war to end all wars.  One hundred years later, Putnam County, solely through private donations, commissioned a recreation of a service medal to honor recent veterans. That original medal, featuring a Native American, was redesigned by local sculptor Michael Keropian of Kent, NY, in the likeness of Chief Daniel Nimham, the last sachem of the Wappinger People of the Hudson River Valley, who, along with his Stockbridge Warriors were among the first American veterans, fighting for the Patriots during the Revolutionary War.

The images from the first Putnam County Service Medal Ceremony have been added to the enormous photographic image collection at the Putnam County Historian’s Office and Archives.  Todd Gianguzzi of Gianguzzi Photography generously donated his time and talents to photograph the event and now digital copies are stored in the archives for generations to come.

Select images have been set to the music “Fanfare for Freedom”, composed by Quincy Hilliard and performed by the West Point Band and is featured on their album, United States Military Academy: 200 Years of Excellence.  “We were quite pleased that we had the opportunity to partner with West Point on this project,” says Melinda Miller of the Putnam County Historian’s Office.

“This is just one of a number of virtual exhibits we have been working on during the pandemic.  We hope to provide another compilation of the 100th anniversary medal ceremony from November 2019 where many more Putnam County Veterans were awarded their service medals,” says Miller, “and Todd was right there again, donating his time to photograph another historic event.”

For more information on applications for service medals, or to make a donation to ensure the continuation of this program, please contact the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency at 845-808-1620 or visit www.putnamcountyny.com/vsa/