As many of you already know, I am quite passionate about helping our Vets. Last year Megan Viganola and I held a very successful poppy drive for Mr. Jasper’s Public Policy course.
This year, I was happy when my two friends, seniors, Angelina Giustra and Jenn Pulsiano, approached me with interests of taking on the responsibility of the poppy drive this year. They’ve consulted with myself as well as American Legion Post 162 in Hillsdale.
Unfortunately due to Coronavirus closing the school, the girls were unable to hold a face to face fundraiser.
After some thought as to how they could maneuver this obstacle, we agreed a virtual poppy drive in which funds will be sent through Venmo, which allows Angelina and Jenn to safely donate the proceeds through direct deposit.
Please consider donating just a few minutes of your time and just a few dollars to a great cause that I am thrilled to continue to be apart of. Any donation is greatly appreciated and goes a long way in helping struggling veterans all across America.
Much thanks in advance to those who donate and happy Memorial Day!
To be posted.
Jerry says stay healthy.
Happy Memorial Day?
[Editorial written by Jerry Donnellan...2015]
When I was a little kid in Nyack, I couldn't wait for the Memorial Day Parade. I had a new bike - a two-wheeler, and I was going to weave red, white, and blue crepe paper in the spokes and ride at the end of the Memorial parade like the big kids did. By "big kids" then, I meant 11 and 12 year olds! I was all set to go when a cranky old veteran told me that Memorial Day was not about having fun.
The world has turned a couple of times since then and now that I'm the cranky old veteran, I understand, and I chafe when people wish me a "Happy Memorial Day," but, being now a man of peace, I just smile and nod.
Since World War II we have steadily drifted away from the meaning of Memorial Day. In 1971 it became the Monday holiday, changed from the original 30th of May. This made it open season on shopping and sales, and truly commercialized the day. In 1973 the Draft ended, so fewer families understood military service and its costs.
In 1987, the Rockland County Vietnam Veterans came together and started the Watchfires. We decided they should be on the traditional Memorial Day and not require a band, fireworks, or an audience, other than those who understood. Somebody actually told me they were inconvenienced. Memorial Day seems to have become a second 4th of July.
On Memorial Day, I saw that an ad was taken out by one of our local politicians, thanking the troops and veterans. Of course, that was the small print. The bigger part of the ad was a picture of himself. That's all well and good, but it ain't about troops or veterans.
It's about those who are no longer troops, and didn't live long enough to be veterans. But I guess they can't vote - except maybe in Chicago! That's not to say that the day has to be spent hanging crepe, or acting as if you're at a wake or sitting shiva. But somewhere in the course of the day, take the time to remember, and tell the kids.
I've been to war and the short of it is, it's hard to know the true cost. Trying to explain this is also hard. Although it doesn't happen often, you know how you feel when you're at the Mall and someone stops and lets you take a parking space that they could have taken? You think, "What a nice person." You even tell your friends and family - maybe even for a day or two.
Well, the people we honor on Memorial Day gave up more than their parking space.
2018 was the first Watchfires without it’s founder, Jerry Donnellan. As a tribute to my father, I have attached a narration of an essay Jerry wrote for Purple Heart Magazine in 2016. It’s entitled “Just Another Day at The Office.” It’s a vivid account in Jerry’s own words about being hit with a grenade that took his right leg in 1969 and the events that followed. Jerry, Peg Leg, Donnellan began the Watchfires in 1987 as a tribute to those who never made it home. However, it also served as a beacon to those who survived like him…because he knew all too well there’s a part of every combat veteran that never makes it home.
Thank you for listening and your support of PegLeg22 and the Veterans.
As is tradition, May 29th 11:30 pm lit at midnight and burns the 30th of May all day.
Memorial Day watch fires sponsored by the Vietnam Vets are held annually throughout Rockland County to remember soldiers who didn't return from war.
The watch fires will be lit at midnight May 29 and burn for 24 hours at four locations:
• Bowline Point Park in Haverstraw
• Eugene Levy Memorial Park on Route 45 in Pomona
• The top of Clausland Mountain in Orangeburg
• The east end of the Piermont Pier.
Jerry Donnellan, a combat wounded Vietnam Veteran, spent his life working on behalf of Veterans from WW1 to today.
Jerry always wanted to do more and we will continue these efforts. His nephew Cole will continue. https://www.gofundme.com/pegleg-22
22 Veterans take their own lives every day. Lets stop this. Lets be proud of our heros and let them know that we care.