A Town of Cortlandt Memorial Day Tribute

May 25, 2020

The History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation’s war heroes of the Civil War who had lost their lives. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of the Civil War proclaimed by General John A. Logan of the Guard Army.

In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo, which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866 because this town had made Memorial Day an annual community-wide event during which businesses closed, residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags and all marched in the streets to show their gratitude and their patriotism. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day, a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday in May.


Introduction including a quote from President John F. Kennedy

Today, Cortlandt remembers those brave men and women who sacrificed so dearly for our freedom and for our great Country.

President John F. Kennedy once said, “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” The many men and women who have protected and defended us made a difference.


A Message from Town of Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi

“On Memorial Day we remember the brave men and women who proudly and gallantly served our great Country over the years and decades and in the many wars and battles of our history.

Throughout the years our soldiers, sailors, air men and women, those in the National Guard and all others who assisted threw themselves into battle never knowing whether they would see another sunrise, willing to sacrifice their lives for a cause greater than themselves.

We will never forget them. We would not have the freedom we cherish today without their sacrifice. We honor their greatness and will always call them Heroes! We must also fight for the services our Veterans need and deserve. They fought for us and NOW we must fight for them.

I am so proud to be part of a community that comes together on Memorial Day and every day to honor those who have served and those who are serving our nation today. It is a privilege to be part of this important Memorial Day tribute that takes the time to bow its’ head in memory of those who sacrificed so much for us and our children.”


Patriotic Songs We Love

“God Bless America”

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above.

From the mountains to the prairies

To the oceans white with foam

God Bless America, My home sweet home,

God Bless America, My home sweet home.


“America the Beautiful”

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain.

America! America! God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.



My country, ‘tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, Land of the Pilgrims’ pride,

From ev’ry mountainside

Let freedom ring.


“The Star Spangled Banner”

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.

Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave,

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?


A message from Town Councilman James Creighton

"In this life, there are not many things that we can be absolutely certain of, but on Memorial Day there are a few things that I know deep in my heart to be absolutely true. I know that we can never be thankful enough for the great men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our sake. I know that these great service men and women represent the very pinnacle of patriotism. I know their sacrifices are representative of the character of this nation we all love so much.   As we mark this important day, Memorial Day weekend 2020 looks very different this year; parades and public ceremonies are canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  While these traditional events won't be happening, we can all still show that we remember by flying the American flag and observing the National Moment of Silence at 3pm on Memorial Day; at that time, stop what you are doing and observe one minute of silence. Use this time to reflect on those who lost their lives.  On Memorial day we remember and know these things with certainty; that is why we stand proudly and say: 'God bless all those that have sacrificed all they had to sacrifice and God bless America.'"

A message from Town Councilman Richard Becker 

"Every year on Memorial Day we pause to remember those that made the ultimate  sacrifice for the general good, and to protect our freedom and way of life. This year, in the midst of a severe pandemic, we continued to honor these brave and selfless individuals.  But, we add to this revered group the names of those who we recently lost, due to COVID, who were first line responders and local heroes. We have been blessed to have the group Americans that placed the good of the country above their own needs and desires. It is on Memorial Day that we remember their service and sacrifice, both at home and abroad.

Although we will not have parades and speeches, as we need to socially distance, we still will honor their memories, by quietly and privately remembering them. Our deeply felt emotions and personal gratitude will be expressed more personally and perhaps more solemnly, within our own hearts and minds. We pray for those we lost, and show our appreciation for their sacrifice. We are a grateful Nation, and we  honor those who gave their all for us."


A message from Chairman-Cortlandt Hudson Valley Veterans Committee, Vietnam Veteran and Cmdr.-Dept. of New York Military Order of the Purple Heart William Nazario

“Covid-19 has made it impossible to Honor, Remember and Reflect on those no longer with us. As we get ready to honor our fallen on Memorial Day, May 25th and on the traditional Memorial Day, May 30th, let us not forget those no longer with us. We at the Cortlandt Hudson Valley Veterans Committee more than anyone else, know how close we have come to be that person no longer with us. I am proud to serve as the Chairman of the Cortlandt Hudson Valley Veterans Committee, for I could not be with a bunch of finer Men & Women who have put on a uniform, raised your hand to serve our Country and put their lives on the line.  May God Bless those who served and those currently serving our Nation.

Lest we forget that ‘Freedom is not free’.”


Almighty god, the author of peace, whose boundless love reaches beyond out limited vision, and who holds all thy children in tender compassion and concern, we pray for those men and women listed as MISSING IN ACTION.

Give especially to their families and loved ones the assurance that none are even missing in thy sight, but held forever in the safety of thy love.?

So we would pray that the day will come when peace will always prevail.?

So that no more loved ones need ever again be listed as missing in action.

By the love that undergirds our lives, and by thy grace that gives us courage and strength we raise this prayer.



A message from Vice Chairman of our Veterans Bob Ferguson

“Although we can’t get together physically to commemorate and honor the lives of those brave men and women who died to make us free, they certainly remain in our thoughts and prayers. At this time of remembrance, we also wish to remember the more than 1,000 veterans in Department of Veterans Affairs Hospitals who passed away with the Corona 19 virus. This figure doesn’t include those who died in state-run homes and in their own homes, but, nonetheless, the figures are staggering. We remember too at this time our dear Brother Ted Novak, co-chaplain of the Cortlandt Hudson Valley Veterans, who always played a special part in all our Memorial Day services. May he and all those who died in defense of our country rest in peace.”


Town of Cortlandt Military Tribute Banners

Press Release- Installation of our Military Tribute Banners

For more information contact:

Linda D. Puglisi, Supervisor

Town of Cortlandt

(914) 734-1002; Fax: (914) 734-1003

Cortlandt Manor, NY

May 14, 2020


Installation of Military Banners

Our military tribute banners have been installed along the Route 9A corridor in the Town of Cortlandt near the Veterans Administration Hospital in Montrose. This program honors the brave men and women in our community who have served in the United States armed forces defending our Country and protecting our freedoms. These beautiful banners will be displayed through Veterans Day. Thank you.

-Supervisor Linda Puglisi


2020 Cortlandt Manor, New York Military Tribute Banners

Military Tribute Banner Photos Facebook Album


Town of Cortlandt Memorial Day Ceremony 2019