City Island and communities all around this great country are honoring the brave men and women who have served this wonderful nation in times of war and peace. Through public ceremonies, parades, and celebrations or private prayers and reflection, Americans will make known their gratitude to those who have sacrificed so much for our country.
This is also a reminder that honoring our veterans shouldn't be limited to just once. The enormous sacrifice they and their families make deserves to be recognized throughout the year.
In Congress, Joe Crowley has strived to do this by advocating for the post-September 11th G.I. Bill and the more recent G.I. Bill 2.0, which covers the cost of a college education at a public university and allows veterans to pass on this benefit to their spouses and children. In New York, our congressman has fought to keep VA Hospitals, such as St. Albans and the 23rd Street Harbor Hospital, open and in the hands of the VA and not private developers.
You don't need to be a member of Congress or an elected official to make a difference in the life of a veteran or our troops. Volunteering at your local VA Hospital or with a service organization will go a long way in showing your appreciation, as does simply saying "Thank you".
So tomorrow, you are encouraged to honor and pay tribute to all those who have served our great nation. But, more importantly, I hope you extend this day of thanks until next year—and beyond. May God Bless AMERICA!