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Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced Dutchess County will host its “Year of the Veteran” Parade, honoring brave men and women from throughout the county who have protected our nation, on Sunday, Sept. 30th, in the City of Poughkeepsie.
The parade will step off from Market Street at 1 p.m., proceed north to Main Street, turning west and concluding at Waryas Park, where a special recognition for Gold Star Families will be held. Veterans groups, civic organizations and marching bands from throughout Dutchess County are expected to take part, and residents are invited to line the parade route and celebrate those who fought for our country’s freedom.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Since Dutchess County was founded centuries ago, valiant men and women have selflessly taken up arms to protect our nation, and our ‘Year of the Veteran’ Parade will offer County residents the opportunity to recognize their neighbors’ sacrifices. There is no greater responsibility than defense of one’s country, and Dutchess County is proud of its sons and daughters who have safeguarded our liberty. We thank them for their service, and I encourage all residents to attend the ‘Year of the Veteran’ Parade and show their respect to those who have given so much.”
The parade marks the 100th anniversary of the end of fighting in World War I. Years before being elected the 32nd President of the United States, then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt led a parade along Main Street in 1919, as thousands welcomed soldiers from Dutchess County home from the battlefront.
Veterans of all ages representing every Dutchess County community are expected to take part in the “Year of the Veteran” parade; vehicles will be available for veterans unable to march. Veterans or veterans groups wishing to take part in the parade can contact the Dutchess County Division of Veterans’ Services at (845) 486-2060.
The parade will feature members of local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion posts, local members of the Boys Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, and the National Guard, among other participants.
Veterans’ Services Director Marc Coviello said, “Dutchess County is eternally grateful for the sacrifices its veterans have made to keep us safe, including those who continue to serve – both home and abroad. We look forward to celebrating their heroism and valor, letting them know they will never be forgotten and Dutchess County is here for them. We urge residents of every age to show their appreciation for our veterans – not only on Sept. 30th along the parade route, but every day.”
Gold Star Family’s Day, which honors mothers and families who have lost a son or daughter in service to our country, is observed nationally on the last Sunday in September; this year, it will be observed on Sept. 30th. County Executive Molinaro and local officials will recognize these mothers and families with a recognition event at the conclusion of the parade.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Gold Star Families experience a loss unlike any other, and our county and nation are forever beholden to them for their sacrifice. Dutchess County will gather to celebrate the lives and service of their fallen children, standing shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand with these families and ensure their loved ones’ legacies endure.”
County Executive Molinaro announced the “Year of the Veteran” Parade in his 2018 State of the County Address. The parade is the culmination of months of preparation and collaboration by several County departments and divisions, such as the departments of History and Emergency Response, as well as community partners, including the City of Poughkeepsie.
City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison said, “Our city shares Dutchess County’s respect for our veterans, and we’re are privileged to welcome ‘Year of the Veteran’ Parade participants and spectators to our community. We look forward to saluting the men and women of every generation who have given so much to our country.”
The Dutchess County Division of Veterans’ Services informs, advises and assists veterans, service personnel and their families with the benefits they are entitled to from the federal, state and county government. Veterans’ Services staff serves as advocates for veterans and their families, and participates in and coordinates initiatives and events to highlight veterans and their needs in the community. More information about the Division of Veterans’ Services is available online.