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Mount Pleasant Vets Reflect on Memorial Day

VALHALLA, N.Y. – Memorial Day is traditionally a day marked by parades, the beginning of summer and American pride.  For Valhalla American Legion Post Leader John Creskey, the day is one to remember those who gave their lives for this country.

“It’s important to honor and remember those members of our armed services that served this country and are no longer with us,” Creskey said.  “It’s not just a hot dog ceremony, it’s really about the people that aren’t able to be at the parade.”

Memorial Day is the national holiday to commemorate men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces and lost their lives.  The holiday originates from the era following the U.S. Civil War.

Creskey was in the service from 1969 to 1973.  On Monday he will help lead his fellow veterans as part of the Valhalla American Legion to honor their fallen comrades.  The Valhalla American Legion will hold their annual Memorial Day Parade Monday morning beginning near Westlake Drive and ending at the Valhalla gazebo where local veterans from various wars will speak.  Creskey said that for attendees, the ceremony is a wonderful way to remember those who helped give us the freedoms we use today.

Drew McFadden served in the Marine Corps from 1961 to 1965 and said that Memorial Day is a time to reminisce.

“All of us who served have friends who also served and have lost their lives, hopefully many years later due to old age,” McFadden said, post leader for the Thornwood American Legion.  “Memorial Day brings back those memories and is a time to let the public recognize those veterans who have served.”

McFadden and the rest of the Thornwood American Legion will cosponsor a Memorial Day ceremony Monday at the Thornwood monuments near the Thornwood Train Station with the Hawthorne American Legion.  Stephen Loia, past leader for the Thornwood American Legion, served in the Air Force from 1950 to 1954 and said he is honored to recognize his fellow veterans.

“It means everything to me to be able to recognize those who served and lost their lives,” Loia said.  “It’s a great honor to be a part of something like that.”

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