Bronx officials tout ‘Veterans Appreciation Month’ at annual ceremony in Van Cortlandt Park
Van Cortlandt Park hosted its 17th annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Sunday afternoon - and this year, there was a feeling of progress to celebrate.
Like other years, veterans, family members and politicians gathered for a reading of the names in the park's Memorial Grove - a ceremony that Community Board 8 Special Committee on Veterans Services chair Sergio Villaverde tells News 12 is "very needed" so Bronx residents can "let our veterans know that they are appreciated.”
“Veterans are naturally humble people. They're not going to come out and tell you, ‘Hey I'm a veteran, you need to come out and thank me,’" he said.
The Van Cortlandt Park Memorial Grove features plaques honoring Bronx residents who have lost their lives in the line of duty dating back to World War I.
"There's a sort of poetry to it,” said City Council Member Eric Dinowitz. “ Some of [the veterans] have seen the horrors of war. To come here and see something so peaceful is an important juxtaposition.”
He added that it’s important that veterans know that “we are doing everything we can to recognize them and to serve them."
With that in mind, both Dinowitz and Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson formally recognized a new resolution that they helped sponsor, and that just passed a couple of weeks ago – officially making the entire month of November “Veteran Appreciation Month” across all of New York City.
"An entire month amplifies it a little bit more, it raises more attention and talking about the issues that matter to veterans every day," said Gibson.
Dinowitz said the first issue on the agenda this month will be a push for increased mental health care for veterans.