Friday, March 14, 2008


I got to witness something special this past Thursday. The welcome home ceremony at the Midtown Neighborhood Center for the New York Army National Guard's 104th Military Police Battalion. These brave men & women were stationed in Texas and Oklahoma then sent to Kuwait and Iraq. This Thursday they were greeted with an enthusiastic crowd along Broadway.

As they marched from Andrew Street, and passing the high school, we could hear the wild cheers and applause all the way from Hoffman Street. Mayor Sottile and I, like everyone around us, couldn’t help but feel choked up and proud as they marched closer.

I didn’t write anything down, but the Freeman has the Mayor opening the ceremony with "We're so proud of your service to the country," "I stand here as an elected official of a free society because of the sacrifices of people who wear that uniform."

He was followed by several commanders of the unit as well as our distinguished veterans with justified praise for the work they did as well as all who were the uniform. All of the unit came back unharmed.

To see the emotional embraces and hugging children up close and in real time takes your breath away…helping to better understand that the issue of personal sacrifice is so sacred an act and that everyone who serves is worthy of a sincere THANK YOU!

Sharing this moment with Jen Ringwood, Jim Sottile, Jim Noble, Michael Hein and so many of our friends was well worth it.

Now lets bring the rest of them home safely.

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