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    NY National Guard Headquarters Staff Marks Memorial Day

    New York National Guard headquarters marks Memorial Day

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Stephanie Butler | New York Army National Guard Brig Gen. Isabel Smith, the director of joint staff, and...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    The New York National Guard’s headquarters staff marked Memorial Day with a short ceremony at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham, New York, on Thursday, May 23.

    Brig. Gen. Isabel Smith, the director of joint staff, spoke briefly about the importance of Memorial Day.

    “We pay honor and tribute to properly thank these heroes, who have done so much to keep this country, our prosperity, and our freedoms intact,” Smith said.

    “For those who never left the battlefields, Smith said,” we must hold them up in our hometowns and honor their memories.”

    Memorial Day, she emphasized, “is not just a holiday or a day off.
    During the ceremony, Command Sgt. Major Curtis Moss, who is assigned to the operations and training directorate, read the names of 15 members of the New York Army and Air National Guard and New York Naval Militia, who passed away during the past year were read.

    Two Soldiers—Chief Warrant Officers 2 Casey Frankoski and John Michael Grassia II—were killed on March 8, 2024, when the UH-72 Lakota helicopter they were flying on a mission in support of the Border Patrol crashed in Texas.

    To conclude the ceremony, Moss and Smith placed a wreath commemorating those killed in battle, while Cpl. Christian Luce, a member of the 42nd Infantry Division Band, played taps.

    Memorial Day got it’s start in New York on April 5, 1866, when the citizens of Waterlook, New York, decorated the village with flags at half-staff and evergreen branches on the anniversary of the surrender of Robert E. Lee, to commemorate the local war dead.

    The village did it again in 1867. By 1868, the Grand Army of the Republic, the equivalent of the American Legion for Union War veterans, was urging a National Day of Remembrance on May 30, and the village, along with other New York communities, shifted its date to May 30.

    In the south, a group of formerly enslaved people held a Memorial Day event in May of 1865, just a month after the war's end, marking the graves of Union Soldiers who died in battles around Charleston, South Carolina.

    Other events were held across the south in communities to mark the graves of Confederate war dead as well.

    Since then, the day's meaning has expanded to one of commemorate all those who have given their lives in defense of the United States.

    Between the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, 39 New York Army and Air National Guard Soldiers and Airmen -7 Airmen and 32 Soldiers- and one Marine who was also a
    member of the Naval Militia, lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The most recent casualties occurred in 2018 when an HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopter flown by the 106th Rescue Wing crashed in Iraq.



    Date Taken: 05.23.2024
    Date Posted: 05.23.2024 11:57
    Story ID: 472124
    Location: LATHAM , NEW YORK, US

    Web Views: 78
    Downloads: 1