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Yorktown Honors Veterans, Bill Lewis, With Parade

All branches of the armed forces were present Sunday in Yorktown.
All branches of the armed forces were present Sunday in Yorktown. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Hundreds of Scouts, town officials and Westchester County residents joined veterans of the armed services at the annual Yorktown Veteran’s Day Parade on the 238th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps Sunday afternoon.

The patriotic parade started at Lakeland High School before concluding at the John C. Hart Memorial Library, where there was an elaborate presentation, highlighted by a celebration of Marine Corps veteran Bill Lewis, who was co-chairing the event for the last time after revitalizing it 14 years ago.

Lewis was presented with a series of proclamations from town, city and state officials following the parade. Each praised him, and the work he put in more than a decade ago to bring the popular parade back to Yorktown, despite the fact he is a Putnam County resident.

“Am I an honorary member of Yorktown now?” he joked with Town Supervisor Michael Grace after Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 was declared Bill Lewis Day in Yorktown. “It’s been an absolute honor to serve here for so long, god bless and god bless America.”

The parade included hundreds of Boy and Girl Scouts from all reaches of Northern Westchester, who marched with veterans of battle as far back as World War II. They were joined by members of the police and fire departments, as well as local and county officials.

“It’s a good chance for us to come together and celebrate the men and women who are doing what’s necessary to keep us safe over here,” Somers resident Terence McCormack said. “It’s good that we get together a few times a year to celebrate them and say thank you.”

Capt. Rick Davin, a veteran of the Marine Corps, as well as a member of the Yorktown auxiliary police force for nearly three decades, gave the keynote speech. Davin has served overseas, as his father did, and his four children are members of the armed forces.

During his speech, Davin emphasized how important it was to give back to you country and community.

“Giving back is the most important contribution one can make. It doesn’t have to be money; there are other ways to give back. Whether you live in a large or small community, there is always someone who can use your help,” he said. “Our nation’s soldiers give back every day to protect our ideals.”

Davin concluded his speech by reminding those in attendance to take the time to thank a soldier. He added that it could be potentially “awkward,” but the soldiers “want and need it.”

“We’re here to honor our heroes’ courage and dedication, and to thank them for their sacrifice,” he said. “Identify a veteran, and make them feel thanked. We can all learn something about history, about ourselves and about giving back simply by taking the time out to do that.”

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