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August 26, 2014 - 4:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, labor day weekend.

Press release:

Terry Hills Golf Course, located on Clinton Street Road in Batavia, will be participating in a community event to benefit the families of service men and women.

All weekend long, Terry Hills will be donating a portion of our proceeds from Greens Fees to the Folds of Honor organization, as a participant in Patriot Golf Day. This organization provides educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our nation. In one year alone for Patriot Golf Day, we were able to raise $4,000!

This is such a GREAT opportunity for golfers to get their rounds in this weekend but in doing so, help raise money for those in need!

August 26, 2014 - 4:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, veterans, terry hills.
Event Date and Time: 
August 30, 2014 - 6:40am to September 1, 2014 - 5:50pm

Press release:

Terry Hills Golf Course, located on Clinton Street Road in Batavia, will be participating in a community event to benefit the families of service men and women.

August 9, 2014 - 1:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, veterans.

Press release:

A Warrior Resource and Engagement Summit featuring programs and services available to post-9/11 veterans will be held in Cheektowaga on Saturday, Aug. 23.

Time is 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with breakfast and lunch provided, at the Hilton Garden Inn, located at 4201 Genesee St.

Various agencies will be on hand to provide information and services for warriors and their families. Presentations will be conducted throughout the day.

The summit is being presented by the Wounded Warrior Project and Veternas One-stop Center of WNY.

For more information, and to register, go to:

http://vocwny.org/warrior-resource-engagement-summit-registration/

July 12, 2014 - 11:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, veterans, Stan's Harley-Davidson.

The Genesee Veterans Support Group hosted the "Ride to Remember" today. The event included a chicken BBQ at Stan's Harley-Davidson followed by a ride to the Geneseo Air Show.

June 13, 2014 - 7:35pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in veterans, pembroke, Memorial, American Legion Post 626.

Monetary value cannot be placed on the cost of freedom. It has been, and continues to be, paid with the blood, sweat and tears of a nation’s people. 

Opening ceremonies for the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall were held Thursday at Pembroke Town Park. Kicking off the day’s events was Bobbie Metcalf’s stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Then retired Army Brigadier General Frank Cipolla spoke briefly of the number of men and women who have lost their lives during times of war. He further spoke of the strength of Americans.

While the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall had made an appearance in Western New York in 2010, the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall is making its first debut in the area. This monument commemorates every veteran that has fought and died in battle from the Revolutionary War up to and including the war in Afghanistan. 

“This wall commemorates every veteran (who) has fought and died for our freedom,” said Timothy Burch, a member of the Oakfield-Alabama American Legion Post #626. “Including firefighters, policemen and first responders of 9/11.”

The memorial spans the length of almost two football fields, resembling the Wall in Washington, D.C.. A permanent monument, donated by Galley Monuments, Batavia, has been set at the site as tribute to fallen soldiers. In addition, the American Legion opened a contest to local schools and asked the question, "What does the cost of freedom mean to you?". Of those who participated, Abby Shaw, of Pembroke, won the contest and her poem titled "The Cost of Freedom" is inscribed on one side of the stone. 

“I’m very excited to be a part of this event,” Burch said. “I joined the Legion almost a year ago and I fell into this face-first. I wanted to be involved. I have an emotional attachment to those who have volunteered to serve during wartime. Both my grandfathers served, as well as my father.”

“So many people from the community are involved in this,” said Joe Joyce, vice commander of Post 626. “It’s amazing.”

According to Joyce, bringing the memorial to the area was almost two years in the making. Donations and fundraisers were held to generate enough capital to make it happen.

“Not one person turned me down when we (the Legion) asked for a donation,” Joyce said. “The response from the community was outstanding.”

“This display will educate people to really show what the cost of freedom is,” Burch said, “and shows how many people sacrificed their lives so that we remain a free country.

“My uncle’s name is on this wall. He died in Korea,” Burch continued. “My service was insignificant by way of comparison to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. They should be honored every day.”

According to the American Veterans Traveling Tribute -- the organization whose mission is to bring the Cost of Freedom Tribute and The Traveling Wall to as many communities as possible -- this event is the first to hold separate days to honor each service area.

“We are setting a precedence for the wall. We are making history with this event,” Burch said.

Alan Myers, a World War II veteran, said, “It’s awesome, isn’t that what the young people say, really emotional, to be involved in this event. It makes people aware of just what the military goes through.”

Myers, who served three years with the 13th Defense Atlantic Fleet, led the motorcade Wednesday with his quarter-ton World War II jeep. According to Myers, the jeep he was driving came off the line the day Pearl Harbor was attacked and was also used during the war. 

In addition to the memorial, displays throughout the grounds include a tribute to the attack on the Twin Towers, as well as, information on each branch of the military and police and firefighters. The four-day event itself is free, however, donations will be accepted to help defray the cost of bringing the wall to the area.

“When you listen to our National Anthem, I mean really listen,” Burch said. “It was written during the Revolutionary War during after a long battle. Francis Scott Key was simply writing about what he was seeing at that time (the bombarding of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore on the night of Sept. 13–14, 1814). That’s war. That’s the cost of freedom.”

http://www.zenfolio.com/zf/tools/slideshow.aspx?id=18989488

June 13, 2014 - 7:59am
posted by Julia Ferrini in veterans, pembroke, Memorial, Post 626.
June 13, 2014 - 7:59am
posted by Julia Ferrini in veterans, pembroke, Memorial, Post 626.

Monetary value can not be placed on the cost of freedom. It has been, and continues to be, paid with the blood, sweat and tears of a nation’s people. 

Opening ceremonies for the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall were held Thursday at Pembroke Town Park. Kicking off the day’s events was Bobbie Metcalf’s stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Following, Brigadier General Frank Cipolla spoke briefly of the number of men and women who have lost their lives during times of war. He further spoke of the strength of the American people.

While the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall had made an appearance in Western New York in 2010, the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall is making its first debut in the area. This monument commemorates every veteran that has fought and died in battle from the Revolutionary War up to and including the war in Afghanistan. 

“This wall commemorates every veteran that has fought and died for our freedom,” Timothy Burch said. “Including firefighters, policemen and first responders of 9/11.”

The memorial spans the length of almost two football fields, resembling the Wall in Washington D.C..  A permanent monument, donated by Galley Monuments, Batavia, has been set at the site as tribute to fallen soldiers. Furthermore, the American Legion opened a contest to local schools and asked the question, ‘What does the cost of freedom mean to you?’. Of those who participated, Abby Shaw, of Pembroke, won the contest and her poem titled ‘The Cost of Freedom’, is inscribed on one side of the stone. 

“I’m very excited to be a part of this event,” said Burch, a member of the Oakfield-Alabama American Legion Post 626 . “I joined the Legion almost a year ago and I fell into this face-first. I wanted to be involved. I have an emotional attachment to those who have volunteered to serve during wartime. Both my grandfathers served, as well as my father.”

“So many people from the community are involved in this,” said Joe Joyce, Vice Commander of Post 626. “It’s amazing”

According to Joyce, bringing the memorial to the area was almost two years in the making. Donations and fundraisers were held to generate enough capital to secure a date for the memorial.

“Not one person turned me down when we (the Legion) asked for a donation,” Joyce said. “The response from the community was outstanding.”

“This display will educate people to really show what the cost of freedom is,” Burch said, “and shows how many people sacrificed their lives so that we remain a free country.

“My Uncle’s name is on this wall. He died in Korea,” Burch continued. “My service was insignificant by way of comparison to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. They should be honored every day.”

According to the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, the organization whose mission is to bring the Cost of Freedom Tribute and The Traveling Wall to as many communities as possible, this event is the first to hold separate days to honor each service area.

 “We are setting a precedence for the wall. We are making history with this event,” Burch said.

Alan Myers, a WWII veteran, said, “It’s awesome, isn’t that what the young people say, really emotional, to be involved in this event. It makes people aware of just what the military goes through.”

Myers, who served three years with the 13th Defense Atlantic Fleet, led the motorcade Wednesday with his quarter-ton WWII jeep. According to Myers, the jeep he was driving came off the line the day Pearl Harbor was attacked and was also used during the war. 

In addition to the memorial, displays throughout the grounds include a tribute to the attack on the Twin Towers, as well as, information on each branch of the military and police and firefighters. The four-day event itself is free, however, donations will be accepted to help defray the cost of bringing the wall to the area. Closing ceremonies will be held Sunday starting at 1 p.m..

“When you listen to our National Anthem, I mean really listen,” Burch said. “It was written during the Revolutionary war during a long battle. Francis Scott Key was simply writing about what he was seeing at that time. That’s war. That’s the cost of freedom.”

 

June 12, 2014 - 9:39am

A motorcade of several motorcycle organizations, as well as, state, county and local police, firefighters and first responders, escorted the Vietnam Moving Wall from Batavia to Pembroke Wednesday morning.

The 17-mile trek was spotted with patriots waving flags and holding signs.

Upon reaching the town park in Pembroke, veterans and supporters who participated in the escort held a brief, solemn ceremony to commerate the wall's arrival.

The effort to bring the moving wall back to Genesee County for another visit was spearheaded by members of the Oakfield-Alabama American Legion Post 626, with support of area community members.

A dedication ceremony at the park begins today at 11 a.m. For more information, click here.

June 12, 2014 - 12:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Oakfield, pembroke.

The Vietnam Moving Wall returned to Genesee County today and was transported in with an honor escort from Batavia to Pembroke this morning.

The wall will be on display as part of the Cost of Freedom Tribute sponsored by Oakfield-Alabama Legion Post #626 at Pembroke Town Park through Sunday.

For a schedule of events, click here.

These four photos were taken in Oakfield this morning.

We have more photos and coverage coming.

Mel Osborn placed flags in front of his residence in Oakfield in anticipation of the escort passing through the village.

June 11, 2014 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, Oakfield, pembroke, Alabama, corfu.

The Oakfield-Alabama American Legion Post #626 is hosting a series of events this week as part of its Cost of Freedom Tribute at the Pembroke Town Park, located next to Pembroke High School, 1145 Main Road (Route 77) in Corfu. On Thursday, June 12, opening ceremonies will take place.

First, at 11 a.m., is the Assembly of Color Guards in the athletic field.

Starting at noon:

  • The American flag at the park will be lowered to half staff, led by the 98th Division drill sargeant;
  • The Special Forces Association Parachute Team from Fort Bragg, N.C., will conduct the "Jumping in of the American Flag." Air support will be provided by WYN Sky Diving from Akron;
  • The National Athem will be sung by Harmony Bordinaro;
  • The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Bobbie Metcalf of Blue Star Mothers;
  • Invocation -- American Legion Post #626 Chaplain Patrick Wilson;
  • Introduction of guest speaker by LTC William Fava (Army retired);
  • Guest speaker -- Brigadier General Frank Cipolla (Army retired);
  • Placement of Memorial Wreath -- American Legion Post #626 & VFW Post #1484;
  • Placement of additional wreaths by the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #193, Blue Star Mothers, Gold Star Mothers, American Legion Post #626 Auxiliary, Genesee County American Legion, and Genesee County American Legion Auxiliary;
  • Benediction -- American Legion Post #626 Chaplain Patrick Wilson;
  • Rifle Salute -- North / South Skirmish Association of WNY;
  • Taps -- Tom Cecere;
  • Fly-over at 1300 hours, if Pentagon approved.

Following opening ceremonies, at 1:30 p.m., patriotic music will be played by Danny B.

The daily closing ceremony is at 8 p.m. with a benediction by Rev. Patrick Wilson of the Alabama Baptist Church; Rifle Salute by the North / South Skirmish Association of WNY; Taps by Tom Cecere and Frank Panepento.

June 4, 2014 - 1:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, schools, education, byron-bergen.

Press release:

On May 27, Byron-Bergen first-graders learned about the history and meaning of the United States' flag from people who proudly fought for it – prominent members of the Genesee County American Legion and Auxiliary. The students welcomed Genesee County American Legion Commander Dave Henry, Chaplain Don Nagle, Post & County Adjutant Jim Neider, and Auxiliary President Jane Fox, and listened intently to their presentation.

Neider, who was recently named to the New York State Veterans' Hall of Fame in honor of gallantry in the Armed Forces and service to the community, made history come alive with stories of Betsy Ross and the first flag. He explained that Flag Day – June 14 – celebrates the birthday of our national symbol. He described the meaning of the flag’s stars and stripes, and the significance of the red, white, and blue. He also encouraged the young patriots to remind their parents and other adults of the many ways to honor the flag.

“As vets, we enjoy helping children connect with history, and get an understanding for the importance of our flag and our country,” says Neider, who also taught elementary school for 30 years at Alexander Central School. “The kids at Byron-Bergen are especially knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They make doing this a lot of fun.”

May 29, 2014 - 4:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, pembroke, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

"For too long, Western New York's veterans have been denied the honor of being laid to rest among their fellow heroes right here in our community," Congressman Chris Collins said. "Today's announcement of a veterans’ cemetery in Pembroke finally rights that wrong. This location will allow veterans from all around our region to be properly and locally honored for their service to this country."

Background: The VA has selected a 132-acre parcel on Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke (Genesee County) as home for the long-anticipated Western New York Veterans’ Cemetery. Currently, the closest veterans’ cemetery is located in Bath, approximately 100 miles away.  

Press release from Sen. Charles Schumer's office after the jump:

May 26, 2014 - 9:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, veterans, War Memorial.

Local veterans conducted the first ever Memorial Day service today at the new Genesee County War Memorial, corner of Bank and Washington.

To purchase prints, click here.

May 26, 2014 - 9:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, veterans, Memorial Day.

Here's photos from today's Memorial Day Parade in Batavia.

To purchase prints, click here.

May 23, 2014 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Mike Ranzenhofer, Veterans Hall of Fame.

Press release:

United States Army Specialist 5th Class James B. Neider has been selected – by State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer – as a New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame Honoree for the 61st District for his gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces and service to the community.

Neider volunteered to serve in 1968 after receiving a bachelor's degree in Education. He served in Germany with the 3rd Armored Division’s 503rd Military Police Company.

“While Jim first enlisted decades ago, he remains committed to serving his country to this day. As a founder of the Joint Veterans’ Honor Guard of Genesee County and with his efforts to locate a National Military Cemetery to the region, Jim’s service to his fellow veterans and their families is unwavering,” Ranzenhofer said. “Jim exemplifies compassion, advocacy and dedication to our local veterans.”

“It has been such an honor to travel to the State Capitol and join so many distinguished veterans as a member of the State Senate’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Thank you to Senator Ranzenhofer for nominating me. Working with veterans is all that I do, and this honor serves as inspiration to continue advocating for veterans in Genesee County,” Neider said.

Neider earned Master of Science degree in Education on the G.I. Bill upon completing his military service, then started teaching at an elementary school in Alexander. He retired in 2000 with 30 years of service. He also served as Batavia Town Justice for 14 years. Today, he is an instructor for the American Legion’s Flags for First-Graders program and a coordinator for the annual Four Chaplains’ Sunday. 

Neider has received numerous awards for his distinguished service: the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Expert M-14 Badge. He has also served in numerous leadership positions, including: chairman, Genesee County Joint Veterans’ Council; president, Genesee Veterans’ Club; board member, Genesee Veterans’ Support Network; chairman, Batavia Memorial Day Committee; and treasurer, Genesee County War Memorial Fund.

Jim and his wife, Mary Ann, live in the Town of Stafford.

May 23, 2014 - 9:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, steve hawley, Mike Ranzenhofer.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley and State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer held a dedication ceremony in Attica this morning for the designation of Route 98 as the Genesee and Orleans Veterans Memorial Highway. The designation, passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor, covers the portion of Route 98 bisecting Hawley's 139th Assembly District, from the Genesee County/Wyoming County line to Point Breeze.

May 17, 2014 - 9:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, music, entertainment, VA Hospital, The Manhattan Dolls.

Veterans and guests at the VA Hospital were entertained this afternoon by The Manhatten Dolls, a group of singers from NYC who perform the great vocal harmonies and songs of the 1930s, '40s, '50s and '60s.

May 17, 2014 - 9:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, veterans, St. Jerome's, War Memorial.

Ed Longhany points to the name Richard N. Longhany on the Genesee County War Memorial, which was dedicated today in an hour-long ceremony at St. Jerome's.

Richard Longhany was on a Navy vessal that was hit by two torpedeos from a German U-boat. Some of Longhany's shipmates were rescued, including one seaman who survived 17 days at sea in February weather. Richard Longhany was lost at sea.

There are dozens of such stories about the men and women from Genesee County who died in 20th Century wars, those whose names are on the War Memorial.

It was erected to replace the one that was formerly outside UMMC and it replicates the names and the wars that were on the original memorial.

The names are etched into a very special and rare kind of polished black granite that can only be found in one quarry in India. The granite has a polished black skin, but is white underneath the black, allowing a skinning process to make the names visible. It's the same kind of granite and the same process used on the Vietnam War Memorial. 

The mirror-like black granite will give visitors the opportunity to reflect on the lives of loved ones lost in service to their country.

Anita Dziekan brought a news stories and pictures of her brothers, Rosario A. Mocciaro and Santo Mocciario Jr., who died days apart in World War II. Rosario drowned after the PT boat he was on was torpedoed by the Japanese. Days after the telegram came informing the family of Rosario's death, another telegram came with news of Santo's death, who died in the Battle of Leyte. A third brother was wounded in North Africa during the war.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

May 14, 2014 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, veterans, manhatten dolls.

Press release:

The Manhatten Dolls will perform for veterans in Batavia beginning at 3 p.m. this Saturday, May 17, and the public is invited. It's free.

Manhattan Dolls have traveled all over the world, performing at different military bases and air shows for United States veterans and service members. This Swing-style female vocal trio sings to the tunes of the 1920s, '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s. A throwback to the original USO group, the Manhattan Dolls have been written about in many publications for their performances and classic style.

The VA Western New York Healthcare System welcomes them to Batavia, where they will perform for veterans of the Community Living Center, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Residential Program facility, and the NYS Veterans' Home.

The location is 222 Richmond Ave., Building #4, Auditorium.

May 8, 2014 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and the Genesee County War Memorial Committee will hold a special dedication ceremony for the Genesee County Veterans’ Memorial at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia.

In the early 1950’s Genesee Memorial Hospital was designated as the Genesee County War Memorial for wars fought in the 20th Century. A monument was placed near the entrance of hospital at 127 North St. that listed all the names of the men and women from Genesee County who died in service to their country during the two World Wars. Plaques for the Korean and Vietnam Wars were subsequently added to the monument.

The expansion and renovation of the hospital at North Street from 2009-2010, required moving the original 1950’s monument to a new location on the campus. The monument was disassembled and the white metal and aluminum plaques were carefully stored. The stone, made of a composite material, could not be salvaged due to extensive damage from the elements.

Hospital administrators met with representatives from Genesee County Veterans groups to discuss the condition of the monument and where to place it following the completion of construction. During this time, observances for Memorial and Veterans’ Days were moved to the Bank Street Campus. Centrally located Downtown, and out of the way of traffic and construction, attendance at the services on Bank Street increased substantially.

The War Memorial Committee, made up of veterans, requested that the new monument be placed at the Bank Street campus. United Memorial, honored to serve as the Genesee County War Memorial, agreed to the new location at the corner of Bank and Main streets. The Hospital also pledged to give funds, originally allocated for moving the monument during the construction project, to the committee to be used toward the new monument.

In November 2011, the veterans held a special ceremony to inter the original plaques in a vault below where the new monument was to be constructed. There is an engraved granite marker identifying its location at the site. To raise the additional funds necessary for the monument, the veterans solicited for donations and sold granite pavers that could be engraved with any veteran’s name, rank and military branch. The pavers will be permanently placed near the monument when the site work and landscaping are completed following the dedication. This will mark the culmination of a nearly five-year-long project to replace the original monument.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the dedication ceremony on May 17th. Following the ceremony, there will be a reception with light refreshments.

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