Several Brooklyn politicians on Monday joined Americans all over in celebrating Memorial Day.
“It is a somber day in which we remember our fallen heroes — the men and women of our military who loved liberty so much that they made the ultimate sacrifice while defending it for the rest of us,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“It is important that we continue to enjoy our American pastimes, like baseball and barbecues on this holiday weekend, all while keeping sight of the fact that these freedoms, which many around the world are denied beneath the yoke of tyrannical rule, have come at a human cost,” he added. “Each casualty of our nation’s wars represents a permanent hole in a grieving family’s heart.”
Adams noted that more than 11,000 Brooklynites of the “Greatest Generation” gave their lives during World War II.
With close to one quarter of a million veterans living throughout New York City, he said Brooklyn “reveres its heroes of the Armed Forces and honors their lasting legacy.”
The borough president said his administration remains committed to all of the borough’s veterans, as well as the spouses, children and family members “who survive our fallen heroes and she-roes, whose memories will eternally shine bright in the hearts of One Brooklyn.”
Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), deputy leader and chair of the Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, said “we owe our gratitude and respect” for the bravery and service of nation’s fallen heroes.
“We also owe it to the families of those we have lost, as well as to our veterans who we are blessed to have with us – many physically and mentally scarred — to show our continued appreciation and provide them with the assistance they need and were assured they would be given,” said the representative for the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.
“As a nation, we should make every effort to offer support to service members and their families,” he added. “Our nation has made many promises to assist veterans with housing, employment and more; so I call on our city, state and federal governments to find ways to meet those commitments.
“Whether or not one agrees with these conflicts, we should all unite around the idea that these men and women deserve much more,” Williams continued.
Brooklyn Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte said “as we travel through life’s highs and lows, it’s easy to take fundamental American opportunities for granted.
“But it’s important to remember that our liberty and national identity were hard-won by soldiers who sacrificed so much and even gave their lives to secure the principles that form our country’s foundation,” said Bichotte, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. “We are always thankful for the men and women who have served our nation in the military, but especially on Memorial Day — a time when we all stand together.”
She noted that New York was the first state to enact Memorial Day as an official holiday, in 1873, adding that the tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves in spring began even earlier.
She said Waterloo, New York, residents hosted one of the first observances in 1866.
“We continue that spirit today, especially because our state is home to nearly 900,000 members of the military who served as far back as World War II,” Bichotte said.
“Here in our community, it’s important to remember our fallen soldiers who gave their lives in battle to protect and serve our country,” she added. “These courageous men and women must be recognized for their sacrifices, alongside the loved ones they left behind.”