FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG PAYS TRIBUTE AND HONORS SACRIFICES OF NEW YORK VETERANS AND SERVICE MEMBERS
HBO, The New York Times In Association With LIFE Books To Feature Documentary In Commemoration Of Veterans’ Day
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hosted a breakfast this morning at Gracie Mansion and marched in this years’ parade in honor of Veterans’ Day. Home Box Office generously sponsored the morning’s breakfast as part of its support to veterans and service members. HBO and The New York Times in association with LIFE Books produced the documentary Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops from the Battlefields of Iraq which airs this evening at 9:00 P.M. on HBO. In addition, LIFE Books has published a companion book Last Letters Home. The book is a poignant tribute to America’s fallen troops who sacrificed their lives in Iraq. The Mayor was joined by New York City veterans and service members including Major General Irene Trowell-Harris, Director of the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs Center for Women Veterans, Lieutenant General Robert Magnus, Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources, United States Marine Corps; Bill Nelson, Chief Operating Officer, Home Box Office and Clarice Joynes, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs.
“Today we reflect and recognize the great contributions and sacrifices made by New York City veterans,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We also pay tribute to the active duty service members fighting in the war against terrorism as we pray for their safe return.”
“We are reminded daily about the active role that our service members and veterans perform to secure our freedom and equality- reaffirming the values of Democracy,” said Executive Director Clarice Joynes. “This parade gives friends, family and community leaders an opportunity to demonstrate to all New Yorkers what service to our country means.”
The Mayor marched in the Annual Veterans’ Day Parade with more than 20,000 veterans. There are currently more than 312,000 veterans living in New York’s 5 boroughs. In addition, New York City has more than 8,400 reservists, 970 active duty, and 3,300 National Guard Members. Currently four New York City residents have given their lives in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and 12 have given their lives in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Following the Veterans’ Day Parade, a Veterans’ Fair was held at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. HBO screened its documentary, Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops from the Battlefield of Iraq. The documentary features the family members of US service members as they read the final letters they received from their loved ones, who died in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The letters, like the film, are not pro-war or anti-war, but pro-family, with the authors delivering unequivocal expressions of love and gratitude.
Ed Skyler / Silvia Alvarez (212) 788-2958
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