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Ceremony, Mass For Veterans Day in Ossining

OSSINING, N.Y. – The Town's Central Committee of Organized War Veterans has organized a memorial mass at St. Augustine's Church followed by a memorial ceremony at Nelson Park Friday in honor of Veterans Day.

"What Veterans Day means to me is the recognition of the sacrifices made by all our veterans and to this day the sacrifices being made by our citizen soldiers -- men and women who are leaving their families to do tours in Afghanistan and other places," said Michael O'Connor, a Vietnam War veteran who is now the Town of Ossining's Superintendent of Highways and the chairman of the Central Committee of Organized War Veterans.

O'Connor was in Vietnam from 1965 to 1966. He noted that, while he knew that he would be out of Vietnam in 12 months, soldiers in World War I and World War II didn't know when they would go home.

"There were men who went in in 1941, 1942 and they didn't get out until 1946," O'Connor said. "It's their sacrifices and all the sacrifices that our service personnel have endured that I'm mindful of on Veterans Day."

There are a number of roads in Ossining that are named after veterans, O'Connor said, including Hunter Street, which was named after Elijah Hunter, a Revolutionary War veteran, and Wyche Way, which was named after Lance Corporal Craig Wyche who was killed in a bombing of the marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983.

"There's a poem that says 'If you can read, thank a teacher. If you vote, thank a veteran who made it possible,'" O'Connor said.

The Town of Ossining's 93rd Veterans Day celebration will begin at 10 a.m. at St. Augustine's Church at 381 North Highland Ave. At 11 a.m., there will be a memorial ceremony at Nelson Park on South Highland Avenue.

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