Vets, Officials Attend Opening of Putnam Row of Honor

October 22, 2014

Approximately 30 people were present yesterday afternoon when County Executive MaryEllen Odell officially opened the 2014 Veteran’s Day Row of Honor as they gathered on the shoreline of Lake Gleneida in downtown Carmel. 


Veterans Service Agency Director Karl Rohde led those gathered in a moment of silence before introducing Odell and thanking her for her strong support for those who have served their country. 


“Putnam County is the best county in the world for veterans and when this lady became County Executive, I wouldn’t have believed it could become even a better county for veterans, but it has,” Rohde said.


As she stood at the podium surrounded by veterans and county officials, Odell expressed her gratitude to Putnam’s veterans. 


“It’s an honor and privilege to be County Executive in a county that is so truly patriotic,” Odell said. “We are grateful for our freedoms and we are grateful for our veterans.”


Odell spoke of her third Honor Flight experience last Saturday when she accompanied a World War II veteran on a flight to Washington, DC for a tour of the WWII Memorials and a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.  This year, Odell was guardian to 92-year-old Victor Paolantonio of Ossining, NY.


This is the fourth Row of Honor that has been erected since it was first launched for Memorial Day in 2013. The Row of Honor is a project of Putnam County’s Joint Veterans Council. Money raised through annual sponsorships of Veterans Day and Memorial Day flags is used to fund special veterans’ projects. The Council is planning to bring the Traveling Viet Nam Memorial Wall to Putnam next September as part of the Viet Nam War Commemoration to mark the 50th anniversary of the war and the 40th Anniversary of the end of the war. 


The flags, installed as a reminder of upcoming Veterans Day on Nov. 11, will remain on site until Nov. 21. Flags can be purchased for $100 apiece through the County’s Veterans Service Agency.  A detailed map of the Row of Honor was designed by the Brian Austin and Kristen Douchkoff of the County’s IT Department. The map lists in numerical order those who are being honored and can be found on the County website at To date, there are 140 flags in the row with several more soon to be installed.


Anyone wishing to sponsor a flag in honor of a deceased or living veteran or anyone presently serving in the military can order their flag by calling (845) 808-1620 or by sending an email to: