This week marks Veterans Day, when we honor the men and women of our nation’s Armed Forces who for generations have answered the call of duty to preserve the freedom we as Americans cherish today. In times of war and peace, our service members are on the front line protecting our nation around the world.
But there is no tribute, no commemoration and no praise that can truly match the magnitude of their service as well as their sacrifice. No words can adequately convey their suffering, their selflessness and their heroism.
As the son of a veteran, I believe the best way to honor these brave men and women is by living each day each day the best we possibly can and by not taking for granted our freedoms which were so courageously fought for.
I am very mindful of the sacrifices so many village families have made that have left a lasting impression on my heart... Arkie Albanese and his siblings, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Zupan, Jeff Brown’s National Guard service, retired village of Manlius Tree Commissioner and Vietnam veteran Steve Chamberlain, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Furgeson, Martha (our own village clerk) Dygert’s son, Sgt. Matthew Long, who has safely returned from his second infantry tour of Afghanistan, as well as a neighbor whose 18-year-old son just enlisted in the Marines last month.
I’m also proud of the American Legion Archie Van Patten Post 141 that thrives in the heart of our village... Archie Van Patten was the first Village of Manlius resident to die in World War I. Our Legion and it¹s members are a vital part of what makes life in our village so special and unique. WWII veteran Teresa Zupan set the standard high as the first female commander of Post 141.
On behalf of the village of Manlius, I thank our veterans, their families, and all the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our values and protect our village, state and nation every day.
God bless you all.
Mark-Paul Serafin is the mayor of Manlius.