Honoring Our Heroes Today and Every Day: A Veterans Day Spotlight

Legislative Column from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay

Veterans Day serves as a meaningful occasion to honor the remarkable courage and sacrifices made by our nation's heroes. It also offers a chance for us to reflect on the major contributions they have made to safeguard our freedoms and uphold our democracy. Throughout the state and nation, community events will be held to pay tribute to our dedicated service members.

For example, Operation Green Light in Oswego County, like many similar programs to support veterans throughout central New York, encourages residents and businesses to display indoor and outdoor greenlights to show all military members they are supported. I take great pride in participating in Operation Green Light, ensuring that our veterans feel embraced and recognized for their service. For more ways to get involved in this effort, details can be found here. 

Throughout Central New York, multiple Veterans Day festivities will take place to honor our heroes. Specifically in Oswego County, the Fulton Veterans Council will be hosting a Veterans Day ceremony in Veterans Park on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. Coffee and doughnuts will be served at Fulton City Hall at 10 a.m. Immediately following the ceremony, a complimentary luncheon will be held at the Elks Lodge. Further, the city of Oswego will also be holding a Veterans Day event at 11 a.m. located at Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Additionally, there will be a separate ceremony in Cayuga County also taking place on Saturday at 11 a.m. This ceremony will take place at Veterans Memorial Park, located at 170 Genesee St.in Auburn, and will commence with a Flag Raising Ceremony.

The Assembly Minority Conference is a steadfast advocate for our military. We are dedicated to a range of initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life for veterans. In recent years, the Conference has conducted numerous events dedicated to supporting veterans. “Voices for Veterans” and the “‘No Surrender’ Veteran Initiative: Making PTSD a Priority” aimed at assisting veterans and their families. The initiatives sought to fight budget cuts to veteran services and raise awareness about the need for greater resources and treatment options to address mental health-related issues. Some of our other legislative efforts include:

  • Green Alert System for Missing Military Members – Establishes a statewide green alert system for missing military members who have elected to join the system and who suffer from a mental illness, including posttraumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury (A.4163, Manktelow)
  • Affordable Home Ownership for Disabled Veterans– Makes the Affordable Home Ownership Development Program available to service-related disabled veterans (A.1990, Hawley)
  • Veterans Home, Rehabilitation, and Land Ownership Assistance Loans— Authorizes the state Housing Finance Agency to provide home purchase and rehabilitation assistance loans, of up to 20 percent of the value of the home, to veterans (A.4307, Hawley)

As we witness conflicts happening around the world, Veterans Day offers an opportunity to reflect on all that America’s veterans have sacrificed and the courage they’ve displayed to provide us with our safety, security and freedom. The men and women who have served in the U.S. military are owed a debt that can never be fully repaid. On Veterans Day – and every day – take a moment to express your gratitude to all who served our great nation.