On a beautiful warm spring day, the City of Rye honored deceased veterans on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2022, at Rye City Hall. The ceremony followed a parade through town. Many speculated that the event drew the largest crowd ever in recent years.
The Rye American Legion Post Auxiliary organized the parade down Purchase Street which featured Legionnaires, marching bands, fire trucks, cyclists, classic cars, Rye’s Boys and Girls Scouts, and local government officials. The Honor Guard leading the parade was led by Sons of American Legion squadron members Brian Dempsey and Dave Ball.
When the parade ended at City Hall, American Legion Post 128 Commander Fred de Barros led the ceremony to honor our deceased. Welcoming remarks and greetings were offered by Mayor Josh Cohn, County Executive George Latimer, NYS Senator Shelley Mayer, NYS Assemblyman Steve Otis and County Legislator Catherine Parker.
The keynote speaker was US Marine Corps veteran James Maisano, Director, Westchester County Consumer Protection Department. He reflected on his time in the US Marines and the sacrifices made by Westchester citizens over the years.
Robin Latimer was awarded the 2022 Americanism Award for her service to veterans and to the Rye community. She humbly and graciously spoke of her life of service learned through her parents.
The Roll of Honor was read by Legionnaire Terry McCartney. He read all names including an additional 17 names which have been newly documented at www.ryevets.org. Terry read each name, their respective service branch, age and local address in Rye. While he was reading the Roll of Honor, wreaths were placed at the WWI flagpole Memorial and the Memorials at City Hall. The wreaths were placed by Legionnaires Howie Heyel and Tim Moynihan and SALs Brian Dempsey and Dave Ball. Fred de Barros and Tim Moynihan placed wreaths at the Shaughnessy Memorial at Rye Rec following activities at City Hall.
The City Hall ceremony included the traditional reading of the Gettysburg Address, this year by Theodore Millard of Resurrection Middle School. The John M. Kingery Memorial Day Essay Contest Awards totaling $1000 were presented to winning Rye High School students. The program also featured recognition of Rye Eagle Scouts and Girl Scouts.
Fr. Epi Marcaida of Resurrection Church and Pastor John Miller of Rye Presbyterian Church led the Invocation and Benediction respectfully. Taps was played by Tadhg O’Brien of Rye High School.
Robin Latimer, president of the American Legion Auxiliary sang the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Additionally, Commander de Barros honored deceased veterans buried at the John Jay estate in afternoon ceremonies.
Some videos of the day:
More photos below. Click to expand and see larger photos.
RyeTV Video can be seen here: https://ryeny.new.swagit.com/videos/174750
Text of Mayor Josh Cohn’s Remarks
Memorial Day 2022 – J. Cohn
Thank you, American Legion, for organizing this Memorial Day celebration. Thank
you, Police and Fire Departments, DPW and all the other City staff, for supporting.
Thank you all for coming. It is my privilege to join you.
We are here at this most beautiful time of year to remember and honor the
sacrifice of those who died in service to us in our armed forces. The extent of their
sacrifice is incalculable – it is of all they were and all they might ever have been.
We honor these lost men and women for all they risked and gave for our common
What can we in turn do for those who gave their all? We can acknowledge the
debt we can never repay and thank them and their families in our hearts. We can
remember them and by remembering them full of life, with dreams and hopes,
families and friends, honor who they were and their sacrifice. We can learn our
history as a nation and so recall all the occasions when neighbors surrendered
their lives for ours. We can trace a line from this Village Green (yes, Washington
slept there at the Square House) to the battle fields named on the base of our
Post Road flagpole and to the wars listed on the plaques on the side of City Hall.
And we can make it our business to guard both our national conduct and our use
of our military, so that the inherently noble purpose of this tremendous sacrifice
is not lost.
We will have a reading of the Gettysburg address soon. In that short speech given
on a battle field become a cemetery, Abraham Lincoln succeeded in penning a
message of aspiration, hope and national purpose, even through the tragic losses
of war. Listen to the last lines of that speech and, going forward, for all those we
remember today, let’s attend, in Lincoln’s words. to that great task still remaining