CARMEL, NY – About 100 people recognized Armed Forces Day and celebrated the launch of the spring Row of Honor, that perched along the shores of Lake Gleneida, by participating in the annual pancake breakfast held by the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council at the Carmel VFW Hall on Sunday, May 20.
Armed Forces Day was first observed on May 20, 1950 to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army-, Navy-, Air Force-, Marine Corps- and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.
“It makes sense to start the spring Row of Honor season on Armed Forces Day,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Just like Armed Forces Day, our flags represent those who have served and those who continue to serve in our five U.S. military branches.”
She added. “There is something so special about looking out on Lake Gleneida and seeing those flags dance in the wind so freely. It makes you take a moment and remember that there was a cost to our safety and freedom. These flags are a thank you to those who sacrificed of themselves, so we could live a blessed life.”
Twice a year, for Memorial Day and Veterans Day, over 300 flags with the names of Veterans line the shore of Lake Gleneida. This historic observation has become a cherished tradition for residents and has drawn national attention to Putnam County.
“A sense of pride and sadness fills me when I see the Row of Honor,” said Veteran Karl Rohde, Director of the County’s Veterans Service Agency. “Pride because it is an obvious show of patriotism and love for our country. It makes me sad because it reminds me of my comrades who have lost their lives serving with honor under that flag.”
With a $100 donation, the name of your loved one can appear on a flag. The proceeds will go toward Veterans Peer-to-Peer projects.
The flags will remain up through July 21, when the inaugural Medal of Honor Parade will be held pass by them. The parade, which begins at 1 p.m., will launch from Paladin Center, located at 39 Seminary Hill Road and end at the corner of Route 52 and Fair Street in Carmel.
To RSVP for the pancake breakfast or to order your flag call 845-808-1620 or visit PutnamCountyNY.gov/ROH. Checks can be made payable to the Joint Veterans Council to PC Veterans Service Agency, Donald B. Smith Government Campus, 110 Old Route 6, Bldg. 3, Carmel, N.Y. 10512.