FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG HONORS BRAVERY OF NEW YORK VETERANS AND SERVICE MEMBERS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today paid tribute to New York City veterans and service members by hosting a breakfast at Gracie Mansion and marching in this year's Veterans Day Parade. The theme of the 2007 Veterans Day Parade is "We the People," in honor of the New York City uniformed personnel and public servants who have served in the United States military, as well as the veterans community that provides assistance to the veterans of New York. The Mayor also announced a new partnership with the City Bar Association to provide free legal assistance to veterans seeking benefits. The Mayor was joined by New York City veterans and service members including Army Reserve Chaplain Jacob Goldstein, Parade Chief Grand Marshal Lieutenant General Jack Stultz, Chief of the Army Reserve and Commanding General of the U. S. Army Reserve Command and Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Roger Newman.
"Our City comes together on Veterans Day to honor the men and women of the Armed Forces to whom we owe our freedom," said Mayor Bloomberg. "And while we can never fully express our gratitude or repay the debt we owe, we must continue to work every day to make sure our City provides these brave New Yorkers every opportunity to improve their lives, careers and health. Our veterans of war fulfilled their duty and we will continue to do all that we can to fulfill our duty to them."
"Today we thank and honor all New Yorkers and Americans who have answered the call to duty and served in the military," said Veterans Affairs Commissioner Newman. "The best way to recognize the sacrifices made by veterans of all generations is to keep our hearts and our minds with our troops serving today, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe. We will continue to support our troops by doing all that we can do to make New York City a place they will be proud to come home to."
Mayor Bloomberg also announced a new partnership with the City Bar Association. A special hotline has been set up to provide veterans with legal assistance in handling federal VA benefit claims. The Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs will provide office space at Veterans Memorial Hall for lawyers currently being trained to work on veterans' cases by the City Bar Association. The hotline can be accessed by calling 311.
In August, Mayor Bloomberg elevated the status of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs and appointed Roger Newman as its first Commissioner, charging him with the development of a comprehensive strategy, involving partnerships with other government agencies and non-profit organizations to enhance access, coordination and delivery of health and human services to veterans, military personnel and their families throughout the City. Currently, there are approximately 245,000 veterans and 8,000 reservists, active duty and National Guard members living throughout the five boroughs. Since September 11, 2001, 70 New York City residents have lost their lives in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Mayor Bloomberg also attended the pre-parade Veterans Day wreath laying ceremony at the Eternal Light Monument in Madison Square Park, which commemorated the historic signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918 that officially ended World War I. Mayor Bloomberg placed a wreath at the base of the monument, followed by a 21-Gun salute and the playing of Taps. The ceremony honored veterans who gave their lives in support of the nation. Musical performances were given by the North East Navy Band, the Pickerington High School Marching Band and the Glory Girls.
Stu Loeser / Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958