Today I attended The Gold Star Mothers Day Ceremony at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, NY.  I went to pay my respects to the 16 people from Westchester County who died in service to Our Nation.  My family and I wanted to attend out of support for the family of Michael A. Arciola, who gave his life at 20 while serving in Iraq.  I never met Michael but I do all of this work for him and his family and for all who gave so much.  I saw his mother and his sister today.  Mrs. Arciola gives back to her community in spite of all she lost.  I imagine that she must have taught Michael these same values. She mentioned that she volunteers for DAV.  She gives back even though so much was taken from her. Although I also imagine that a loss like that can never be repaired, it seems like she and her daughter want to help other people deal with their circumstances. We can all learn from the Arciola family and give back to our community even when life can be tragic.  During “The Roll Call of Names – Hand Salute” portion of today’s program, I felt sad.  This really is all I can say.  My mother said she was overwhelmed at the dignity of the Gold Star Mothers who attended.  I met Vito Pinto, Director Westchester County Veterans.  I had written to him a while ago and he had written back right away. I respect him.

Today is all about remembering Our Gold Star Mothers but we should really think about them all of the time and everywhere we go.

Your Neighbor,


Westchester Gold Star Memorial




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