OSSINING, N.Y. -- The Village of Ossining held its annual Veterans Day ceremony Monday, thanking those for their service.
The village held a memorial mass at St. Augustine Church on North Highland Avenue before having a memorial service at Nelson Park on South Highland Ave in honor of its veterans.
"It is their devotion to duty that has made our nation what it is today and what it will continue to be," Highway Superintendent Michael O'Connor, who emceed the ceremony, said.
O'Connor is also a member of American Legion Post 506 and Post 104.
State Senator David Carlucci, whose district represents Ossining, was the keynote speaker for the event and credited veterans for providing Ossining residents with such a great quality of life.
"Veterans answer the call and put others before themselves," Carlucci said. "Thank you for all that. We have to work to improve your quality of life."
Carlucci said many veterans come home suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder, battling unemployment and sometimes committing suicide.
"A soldier is more likely to die from suicide than by enemy combat," Carlucci said. "That is a startling statistic."
Carlucci formed a veterans taskforce to help improve life for veterans in New York. This year, the state launched a Jobs for Heroes program, which provides tax credits for employers that hire unemployed veterans.
"They need services more than ever," Carlucci said.
A program has also been set up to allow veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder to get peer to peer counselling from other veterans.
Mayor Bill Hanauer said the Veterans Day ceremony is another reminder of how Ossining takes care of its own.
"We have sacrificed a number of our residents in the 100 years since World War I," Hanauer said. "We have sacrificed before that to make sure this nation thrive. We will never forget their sacrifice and celebrate what the have left us today."
Town Councilman Eric Blaha, Councilman-Elect Kim Jeffries and Legislator Catherine Borgia were also in attendance.
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