Declares June 6, 2019 “Salute to World War II Military Service Day” for New York

Every World War II Veteran at each of the State Veterans’ Homes to Receive a Governor’s Proclamation Commemorating D-Day

Office of the Gov reports 6.7.2019 New York – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a special day of commemoration of military service featuring World War II Veterans and their families residing in all five of New York State’s Veterans’ Homes. In honor and recognition of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and OPERATION OVERLORD, the largest amphibious operation in military history, the Governor declared June 6, 2019, as “Salute to World War II Military Service Day” across New York.

“On the 75th Anniversary of D-Day I want to offer a sincere thank you to all our veterans and their families for their sacrifice and service to protect our freedoms,” Governor Cuomo said. “I urge all New Yorkers to join me as we honor the courageous service members who risked everything on D-Day when 160,000 American and allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and turned the tide of the war and the course of history forever. For those we lost and the veterans who made it home, thank you. We owe you a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.”

“We honor a day that changed the course of civilization and salute our World War II veterans across the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke today at the New York State Veterans Home at Montrose. “As we mark the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, we say thank you and pay tribute to the more than 900,000 New Yorkers who fought during World War II, and those who stormed the beaches of Normandy not knowing if they would ever return home. We recognize the courage of our military service members that has made us the greatest military strength on this planet. We must learn from the legacy of the greatest generation and pick up the mantle of service and sacrifice that they created.”

Lieutenant Governor Hochul also honored World War II veterans today at the Purple Heart Museum in New Windsor. 

The New York State Division of Veterans’ Services, in coordination with the New York State Department of Health, State University of New York and the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, sponsored commemorative events across the five facilities at 10:00 AM, June 6th, 2019, to honor the service of all World War II Veterans and their families. At each of the State Veterans’ Homes, every World War II Veteran received a Governor’s Proclamation commemorating this special day in American history, with select Veterans being presented with the New York State Medal for Merit for their participation in the Invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 and World War II. Additionally, all World War II Veterans at the State Veterans’ Homes received a letter of gratitude for their service from the Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services. 

New York State Division of Veterans’ Services Director Jim McDonough said, “Today’s 75th anniversary of D-Day commemorative events are extremely important to our surviving World War II veterans and their families. At the time, it may have seemed like the world was riding upon the shoulders of America’s youth. Instead America’s youth was tasked with shouldering the immense burden of ensuring the freedom of the world as we knew it. I’m glad New York continues to recognize and honor our greatest generation as we are today.”

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “U.S. service members in World War II risked, and in many cases sacrificed, their lives to protect our freedoms, and now, 75 years after D-Day, it’s our job to make sure they continue to be honored as the heroes they are. Through initiatives like Health Across All Policies, Age-Friendly New York, and the Department’s operation of four State Veterans’ Homes that provide state-of-the-art, high-quality care in supportive and understanding environments, Governor Cuomo is ensuring that the Greatest Generation has the resources they need to remain active members of their communities throughout their Golden Years.”

Greg Olsen, Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging, said, “The New York State Office for the Aging expresses profound gratitude to the brave service members who risked their lives during D-Day and throughout World War II to defend our freedoms and values across the globe. We thank them for their sacrifices to defend our way of life, and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Our older veterans are members of a generation that helped build our nation to be the greatest in the world, and under Governor’s Cuomo’s leadership, New York State, as the first age-friendly state in the nation, remains committed to ensuring access to the vital community resources our older veterans need to remain healthy and engaged in their homes and communities of choice.”

Long Island State Veterans Home Executive Director Fred Sganga said, “For the past twenty-seven years, the Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook University has had the honor and privilege to have cared for this special generation of veterans. We will never forget the service and selfless sacrifice of so many soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. Today, we thank all of our World War II veterans for their fortitude and perseverance seventy-five years ago – for answering the call, in order to make the world a safer place.” 

New York Adjutant General, Major General Raymond Shields said, “The men and women of the New York National Guard who serve our state and nation are always inspired by the memory of the Soldiers who stormed ashore on Omaha and Utah beaches 75 years ago. Those who were young men then, risked everything to save the world from a brutal dictatorship. Those of us who serve today are proud to follow in their footsteps”

During World War II, over 3 million service members departed for their tours overseas from the Port of New York. Over 900,000 were New Yorkers who fought to protect and secure the rights and freedoms of all Americans. Over 43,000 New Yorkers made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our state and nation over the course of World War II. 

The New York State Division of Veterans’ Services

Under Governor Cuomo’s administration, the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services has filed over 27,000 claims for New York’s Veterans and their families leading to the awarding of more than $254 million in tax-free federal Veterans’ benefits.

Veterans who were injured on active duty may file a claim at any time for disability compensation. Certain disabilities are presumptively linked to a Veteran’s prior status as a Prisoner of War. For information and free assistance regarding benefits and services for Veterans, Servicemembers and their families, please visit veterans.ny.gov and call 888-838-7697 to schedule an appointment with a Veterans Benefits Advisor. 

New York State Veterans’ Homes

The State Veterans Homes provide skilled nursing care and short-term rehabilitation to eligible veterans and their dependents. The care is resident-centered and individualized, with a full spectrum of support programs including memory care, social services, recreational activities, physical and occupational therapy and other rehabilitative services. Most importantly, our Greatest Generation of veterans have the freedom and convenience of a small community as well as the comforts of a home-like setting. The State Veterans Homes offer a quality of life which emphasizes privacy, encourages independence, provides comfort and security, and offers the companionship of other Veterans and families. More information about State Veterans Homes run by the Department of Health can be found here and about the Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook University here.  

Honoring New York State’s Military History

Visitors to the Capitol may also be interested in touring the Vietnam Memorial Gallery and the memorials honoring those who served our country that are located throughout the Empire State Plaza Complex. Information on the Gallery can be found at https://vietnamgallery.ogs.ny.gov/ and memorials at https://ogs.ny.gov/ESP/ct/memorials/