The Fort Hamilton Army Base in Bay Ridge held a special ceremony to salute veterans from all branches of the service for Veterans Day. The event took place on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the Fort Hamilton Community Club.
Fort Hamilton Army Base commanding officer Col. Andrew Zieseniss welcomed guests to the ceremony including Assemblymember Peter Abbate, 68th Precinct commanding officer Capt. Robert Conwell and community leader and Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade organizer, Ray Aalbue.
“Today we are celebrating veterans from wars that go back to World War I,” said Zieseniss. “We’re kicking off a busy few days here in New York City as we honor military veterans and we recognize the importance of the U.S. Army.”
Zieseniss went on to explain that, “In 1919, Americans first came together to recognize veterans of the Great War on November 11, Armistice Day. In 1947, Armistice Day was officially renamed Veterans Day in order to recognize all military vets.”
The keynote speaker was Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Milhorn, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division.
Milhorn, a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Florida, holds a master’s degree in construction engineering and project management from the University of Texas at Austin and is a national security fellow of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
“Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guard men and women, we thank you for all that you have done,” Milhorn said. “You are part of the proud one percent club . . . Thank you for all that you have done and for the legacy that you gentlemen and ladies have set for us and for future generations.”
Eight distinguished veterans who served in various wars through the years were honored for their valor. They were World War II veterans Rocco Roy Vanasco, United States Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class, and his brother United States Army Cpl. Jack Vanasco; Korean War veterans Army Sgt. 1st Class, retired, Angel Rios and Sgt. Thomas Trombone; Vietnam War Marine veteran Cpl. Paul Roura; Gulf War veteran Air Force Staff Sgt. Ruben Nadal; Desert Shield/Storm Marine Sgt. Erick Chavarria; and War on Terrorism Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Young.
The ceremony concluded with a service medley allowing members of each branch of the service to stand up and sing their service anthem.