Watch CBS News

Meaning of Memorial Day commemorated during event in Rockland County

Rockland County commemorates meaning of Memorial Day
Rockland County commemorates meaning of Memorial Day 02:03

NEW CITY, N.Y. -- The long holiday weekend in Rockland County began with a ceremony to mark the meaning of Memorial Day.

CBS2 was at Friday's commemoration in New City.

With patriotic songs and a seven-gun salute, the town of Clarkstown always puts a Memorial Day Weekend focus on the sacrifice that keeps America free.

"We're here this morning to honor heroes, to remember their achievements, their courage and dedication, and to say thank you for their service and sacrifice," Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann said.

READ MOREU.S. Air Force Thunderbirds headlining this year's Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach

Wreaths are laid in honor of those who fell in all the major conflicts of the last 80 years. including the Iraq war of 20 years ago. Rockland County native and Marine veteran Damien Shea served 15 long months overseas during that conflict.

"Above all, in an attempt to pay back our debt as American citizens, we also must not only remember the fallen. But it is our responsibility to teach the youth that nothing comes without cost, and sacrifices are meaningless without remembrance," said Shea, commander of VFW Post 9215.

READ MOREThings to Do if you're sticking around New York City this Memorial Day Weekend

Damien Shea is one of five brothers who served in the military and faced dangers overseas.

Denis Shea is their understandably proud father.

"I'm very happy they all came back alive. I feel so sorry for people who lost boys and consider myself, how lucky I am, how lucky my family is," Denis Shea said.

It's a day to contemplate the cost of freedom.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.