Follow protocol in honoring war dead
I am a veteran and a proud American. It really bothers me that each year, year after year, people do not properly pay respect to the day that is supposed to honor those who have given of themselves and paid with their lives for the freedom that so many of the people take for granted.
There are observations all week prior to Memorial Day, and many who attend these events or try to observe the day in some way are not doing it properly.
The flag of our country is supposed to be at half-staff till noon in honor of those who have fallen in battle defending freedom. At noon, the flag is raised to full-staff to honor those who are still serving all over the world. In my travels, I have seen very few proper displays and raising of the flag after the noon hour. This applies even to the Thruway rest stops and rest areas. It even includes the new state trooper headquarters on Route 7.
I believe a course in flag etiquette is needed to instruct how to properly display the flag.
We, as veterans, appreciate the attendance of veterans and interested parties, especially the youth of the area in the Memorial Day services held all over the region.
There is a proper procedure to follow during these ceremonies. You uncover and hold your cover over your heart during the invocation and benediction. If you are wearing a cover, salute during the National Anthem. Some veterans organizations ask that members remove their covers and place them over their hearts during The Pledge of Allegiance. Others have the custom of remaining covered and saluting while saying the Pledge. Please follow the protocol of your organization, whichever is appropriate.
Proper protocol during the firing squad should also be followed. The firing squad is a salute in itself. Participants should come to attention to the firing. Upon the announcement of "Present Arms," those who are wearing covers should render a salute and others should be at attention and place their hands over their heart in order to pay respect to those who have died for our country.
These above measures are simple and easy to become a habit for paying the proper respect to those who have died for our country.
One last closing thought. Don't say "Happy" Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about those who have died to protect us and keep us free. I mention this to also inform the CDTA regarding posting this on their buses. It should be "Remember Memorial Day."
Kurt von Maucher
The writer is a member of the Scotia Post #1001, American Legion and Schenectady County American Legion judge advocate.
Kudos to city Water Department workers
It was a pleasure to work with Joe Verrigni and Scott Paluba from the city of Schenectady Water Department.
When your livelihood depends on water and you have a problem, it can be very intimidating to call in a report. Joe and Scott were both very professional. But above all, they were friendly and reassuring.
Thanks guys. Problem fixed. Glad we have men like you working here in Schenectady.
The writers are proprietors of the Hartz Family Cleaners.
Deniers of climate change stuck in past
Without being specific to individuals, what I surmise after reading letters to the editor regarding climate change being debatable is that the people writing these letters probably don't take ocean cruises, for fear of falling off the edge of the Earth.
Senator Marchione a friend to veterans
Big heartfelt "thank-yous" are due state Sen. Kathy Marchione for being a tireless, tenacious and trusted advocate for military veterans. Sen. Marchione has supported policies and laws and secured funding for important veterans' programs. The senator also has used her public platform to continually call attention to the need for more care and compassion for America's true heroes.
Sen. Marchione sponsors bi-partisan legislation (known as "OORAH!" which stands for "Opening Opportunities, Resources and Access for Heroes") that would provide state assistance, resources and inclusion in state contracts to help veteran-owned businesses grow and succeed.
OORAH! is an important, far-reaching bill that would build on New York's recent success in helping service-disabled veterans.
Sen. Marchione also helped shepherd the "Saratoga Veterans' Memorial Highway" legislation into finally becoming state law. This bill will help provide a daily reminder for motorists traveling along the route of the incredible heroism and sacrifices made by Saratoga veterans.
In the lead-up to Memorial Day 2014, Sen. Marchione recognized two of New York's true heroes: U.S. Army veteran Gary Flaherty and U.S. Marine Stg. David Terrance "Terry" Fox, both of whom distinguished themselves by their heroic, honorable service.
You can tell a lot about a country -- and a state -- by how it treats and cares for its veterans. Same goes for our elected officials. Sen. Marchione has always made helping and honoring our veterans a top priority and she should be saluted for doing so.
Michael J. Cavanaugh
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