KATONAH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – While Thursday is a federal holiday, numerous events Wednesday honored our heroes in advance of Veterans Day.

CBS2’s Tony Aiello stopped by two of them in the northern suburbs.

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Some served in the middle of the last century.

“The end of World War II,” said veteran Richard Crisfield.

Others, at the beginning of this one.

“I did one tour in Afghanistan in 2002, and another tour in Iraq in 2003,” said veteran Josh Gaccione.

At the annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Westchester County Veterans Museum, there was a show of gratitude for all those who answered the call to serve our nation.

“God bless you men, women. Thank you for what you’ve done. We will never forget you, we will never forget to honor you,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

The ceremony was deeply appreciated, especially by combat infantry badge recipient Pat Selleck, whose service in Vietnam did not lead to a warm welcome home.

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“We were called ‘baby killers.’ Stuff like that. Today, you walk down the street with your combat hat on, people say ‘Thank you for your service’ and recognize you,” Selleck said.

In Rockland County, a ceremony at Spring Valley High School honored Purple Heart recipients.

“I’m one of the lucky ones that came back. Like they say, war is hell,” said Vietnam veteran John Boykin.

Stanley Boorman, a 1940 Spring Valley High School graduate, did not survive WWII. His Purple Heart, recently found at a thrift shop, is now part of a plaque that will hang in the school lobby.

“Every day when they come in, they’re going to see that Purple Heart and understand there was a price with it,” said Howard Goldin of the Military Order of Purple Heart.

Advocates say there are many ways to show appreciation for those who served.

“By hiring a veteran, visiting a VA hospital or donating to a veteran’s program,” said Frank Morash, American Legion state commander.

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A good start is sharing five simple words: Thank you for your service.

Tony Aiello