NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio this Memorial Day led observances to remember those who gave their last measure of devotion, at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Riverside Park.
As CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported, soldiers, sailors, and veterans gathered in Riverside Park to pay tribute.
“It’s a day to keep their memory alive, and it’s a day to think, obviously, about what they fought for. It’s up to us to continue to perfect democracy that they died for,” de Blasio said.
Active servicemen and women were in the crowd, along with veterans of the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and World War II.
“I come every year because it’s a must. It’s on my heart as a real American. I was born in Puerto Rico, but see what I’m wearing here?” said Korean War veteran Thomas Lopez as he showed his American flag tie.
“I got shot three times, and that’s my purple heart,” added veteran Ray Fisher.
Memorial Day is about honor, and at 8 year sold, Solomon Rogatnick already knows that. A sergeant in the Knickerbocker grays, he was out on Monday to pay respect to those he represents.
“I feel very happy to represent those who sacrificed themselves,” he said.
The ceremony at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument is the city’s largest Memorial Day observance. It pays tribute to veterans of all wars, with a special emphasis on those who died during the Civil War.
The mayor also attended a ceremony at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, along with hundreds of veterans, service members, and other patriotic New Yorkers.
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, de Blasio’s perspective on sacrifice came from his father, who lost half his leg at Okinawa.