Pelham community members banded together Monday for the annual Memorial Day and ceremony.
Attendees included U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY; Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; state Sen. Jeffrey D. Klein, D-Bronx/ Westchester; state Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale; along with representatives from the boards of the town, school district and villages.
The grand marshal for the parade was Michael Tillistrand, a Pelham Manor police officer and who was deployed to Afghanistan as captain in the U.S. Army. Tillistrand was .
“While it’s nice to go the mall on Memorial Day and it’s nice to have hotdogs on the backyard barbecue, the real reason we’re here is a very serious reason,” Schumer said. “It’s because this great country, despite the fact that all of us from time to time complain because we see the dysfunction in Washington and we complain about the price of a gallon of gas—the one thing that we all need to think about is how blessed we are to live in this wonderful land of ours.”
Pelham town Supervisor Peter DiPaola echoed Schumer’s sentiments.
“Many people think of this as the beginning of the summer and you don’t want to dampen people’s spirits, but everybody needs to remember today is the day we honor our fallen soldiers,” DiPaola said. We need to honor and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in a land that many of us feel is the greatest country in history.”
Pelham resident Michael Barrett, a lieutenant colonel with the Rhode Island National Guard, recently returned after being deployed to Afghanistan. He was an honorary speaker at the ceremony.
Barrett said Pelhamites have a history making sacrifices in defense of this country.
“Pelhamites have perished in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan—We should also remember as we stand in the relative comfort and safety of home, there are still those fighting and dying for our freedom.” Barrett said.
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