by Barrett Seaman
The villages of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow held their traditional ceremony honoring veterans on November 11 in Patriots Park. This year’s celebration was notable for two reasons: it was the 100th anniversary of the armistice signing that ended World War I, but it was also the unveiling of a new memorial: the Blue Star Memorial marker, honoring all who have served in the American armed forces, past, present and future. As master of ceremonies, Joe Tanzi of the Disabled American Veterans, said in his opening remarks,“The great brotherhood and sisterhood we call our military.”
Historically, Blue Star Markers were created by the National Council of Federated Garden Clubs at the close of World War II as an appropriate way to both “beautify and preserve the country for the men and women who had fought in the wars.”
Blue Star Memorial plaques, in addition to the Gold Star program that honors mothers of fallen service members, can be found across the country, visible on highways and in parks. The one dedicated Sunday was sponsored by the Little Gardens of Tarrytown, designed by Joe Osterman on a natural stone and set opposite the existing Gold Star Memorial in the northwest quadrant of Patriots Park. Little Gardens president Kim Waddell unveiled the marker and placed a flag beside it. By tradition, veterans placed American flags along the garden walk in honor of each of the wars Americans have fought up through and including Iraq and Afghanistan. Also acknowledged were garden club members Beverly Jansen and Valerie Kopelman who led the campaign for the Blue Star marker.
Among the many celebrants was Sleepy Hollow’s Armando “Chick” Galella – a Pearl Harbor survivor, Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray and Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell, each of whom made remarks.
(photos by Debbie Allan)
(Photo by Sunny McLean)