Show respect to Rochester’s veterans!

Veterans Park
Rochester’s veterans loved to gather at the Rochester Veterans Park since the breaking ground ceremony. After the Park was completed in 2011, strange things happened – as shown in this letter to the Editor:
David O'Halloran

    Blue Stone Press – September 21, 2012
    Freeman – September 21, 2012
    Shawangunk Journal – September 27, 2012

    Veterans should be honored, not forgotten!

    On any given night 107,000 veterans are homeless. This shocking information – glimpsed during a recent episode of ABC’s “What Would You Do” – prompted me to write this letter.

    Ulster County is not immune to this problem. In an August 2012 press release, “County Executive Mike Hein thanked Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for signing important legislation to address the needs of Ulster County veterans.” According to Ulster County Veterans Service Agency “there are approximately 6-10 Ulster County veterans at any given time seeking emergency housing assistance.”

    But the purpose of this letter is to look at what we do in the Town of Rochester to show respect for our veterans.

    During my four-year term as Town of Rochester Councilwoman, I served as Town Board Liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission. HPC’s main effort and practically their entire budget was dedicated for years to completing the Veterans Park – continuing the work of former Town Board member Francis Gray, who spearheaded this project.

    Our Veterans Park – just down the hill from the Town Hall, follow the new signage – is the result of dedication, determination, volunteer work and generous donations, spiced with heated arguments, delays and dilemmas.

    In 2008, Councilman Tavi Cilenti – himself a veteran – and I discussed the project with Sen. Bonacic in Albany, but we didn’t receive any help; we just did it ourselves and it was finally completed and dedicated in 2011.

    Unfortunately, I see a trend to play trivial political games with town celebrations. Instead of getting better, the situation got worse this year. The small ceremony at the Veterans Park on Memorial Day was not advertised at all – it was not considered a significant event. The chairs prepared for veterans in front of the Accord Fire House, where the parade ended, remained empty…

    When Sue Cummings was our legislator she was always present at our town events; it’s really sad and disappointing to have now a Rochester Legislator who, two years in a row, joined the Memorial Day Parade organized by her husband only after the ceremony at the Veterans Park was over.

    Nothing wrong with inviting a veteran from another town to speak at the Memorial Day 2012, even when he is a Bernardo-appointed legislative employee. To not invite our Rochester veterans was definitely wrong. Those empty chairs are a haunting image… Veterans should not be sacrificed for political gain or games; we are one town and should speak with one voice when honoring the veterans!

    Veterans Day is coming; I sincerely hope the Town Board would make sure that on November 11 our veterans will be celebrated as they fully deserve. Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies should become a tradition at Rochester Veterans Park.

    Manuela Michailescu

Dump Terry Bernardo
It’s really sad and disappointing that – for two years in a row – Terry Bernardo, the Legislator from Rochester, joined the Memorial Day Parade only after the ceremony at the Veterans Park was over.

Dump Terry Bernardo
Nothing wrong with inviting Frank Reggero, a veteran from Saugerties, to speak at the Memorial Day 2012, even though he is a Terry Bernardo-appointed legislative employee. But definitely the wrong decision was made by the emcee (Len Bernardo, above, in respectful shorts) to not invite our Rochester veterans.

Dump Terry Bernardo
Those empty chairs are a haunting image… Veterans should not be sacrificed for political gain or games; we are one town and should speak with one voice when honoring the veterans!

Wake up people!

– Jon Dogar-Marinesco

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7 Responses to Show respect to Rochester’s veterans!

  1. Anonymous says:

    As long as Bernardo’s are involved, it will be all about them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It sickens me that these politicians are so selfish and disrespectful to our veterans who have selflessly given so much of themselves – risking life and limb. Please tell me why everything has to be turned into another political agenda!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your service veterans. In Rochester and everywhere.
    And to our first responders who help make our lives safer.

  4. Anonymous says:

    To each Veteran–THANK YOU for your service to our country. Shame SHAME on Bernardo and Chipman. Both are more concerned about THEMSELVES than to take just a moment and consider others. A special thanks to the late Francis Gray–a true American and an individual who cared about his country and town. And a thanks to Manuela–a patriot understanding the importance of giving back.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just watch this Veteran’s Day–these selfish politicians will attempt to right their wrong just to look good. It’s too late Politicians. There is dishonor among each of you. Do not try to save face. These veterans know what the enemy looks like…….

  6. Carl Chipman says:

    Manuela mentioned the post by 6:59 to me yesterday and it made me very upset. I really don’t have much respect for those who make anonymous untrue accusations.

    I don’t mind taking the blame for things that I’m responsible for but what happened at the Firehouse which I have no control over and blaming me is pure unadulterated bullshit. The Town does not have a say in the ceremonies at the Accord Firehouse and we are not consulted as to who speaks, sits, or whatever. The Town does not nor has it been responsible for the Memorial Day Parade. Tavi, Manuela, and I did work to have the Memorial Day Parade reinstated and the Kerhoonkson-Accord Chamber of Commerce led by Lolly Chase coordinated events with the Accord Fire District and I think that worked very well.The Town did provide support for Lolly with a budget and help from our recreational department , which had been working with the chamber on numerous projects for years. Lolly could no longer devote the time and the chamber folded and the parade now is under the auspices of the fire district as it had been traditionally been. The Accord Fire District is run by the Board of Fire Commissioners of which Len Bernardo is the current chairman. I have no say in what is decided by Bernardo or what is influenced by his wife Terry. Those who were near me at the parade and during the ceremonies know damn well that I was not a happy camper with how things were handled. I have nothing against Mr. Reggero and respect his service to our country but think the ceremony would have been better served by a veteran from our own community of which there are many to choose from. I do realize that Chairwoman Bernardo had just hired him as budget officer for the legislature and do not know if that had anything to do with his appearance, However, I’d like to just see our own veterans honored. The Town has been left out of participation in the ceremony for the past couple of years so please do not blame us for what has happened at the firehouse.

    We did have a service prior to the parade but is was poorly attended. I do believe we should have advertised it better and do take responsibility for that and will try to rectify that in the future. However, I do believe that such poor attendance is more endemic of what is wrong with modern America and how poorly we treat our veterans. The greneral public seems to be more concerned with their recreational plans and watching the pretty trucks in the parade than honoring those who have seved our nation. This is not just in our community but all over our country and it is a damn shame. But what can we expect when we have a president who apologizes for rather than defend our great nation.

    The Town will have a Veteran’s Day service this year as we did previosly and we will serve refreshments afterwards. I hope it has excellent attendance to properly honor our veterans and I hope to see all of you anonymous posters there. I’ve done nothing to dishonor our vets so please cut the bull 7:11 as I have nothing to be ashamed of.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Lolly Chase For the last 3 yrs. I have remained silent concerning the Rochester Memorial Day Parade. Today I break my silence.

    I first became involved with the Parade the year of the forest fire which consumed the Fire Companies attention the week prior to the Parade. They gave me a last minute call asking for my help. Together we made it work. The next year there was NO parade. Our residents complained to then Sup. Pam Duke. That is when the town took over the event. I was asked to be chair and given a budget of either $800 or $1000. I don’t recall which. I immediately addressed a meeting of the fire commissioners asking for fellow committee members. They responded favorably or so I thought. The day of the parade during the wreath laying ceremony our wreath was nowhere to be found. I apologized to the public on the oversight. ( In my mind an embarrassing huge mistake. ) I found out later that one of the then commissioners had signed for the wreath and intentionally hidden it out of spite. Ask Ruth Osterhaudt, who discovered that and was outraged that someone would stoop that low.

    The next year I attempted to work even more closely with the Fire Company by giving more decision making authority. Once again to be deceived. I was told in a meeting at Provident Bank (ask Lynn Churchill) that the Fire Police would handle traffic control. They did not . I had to do the last minute scramble and some of our marchers were put in jeopardy because of it. I also got My ass seriously reamed by the Sheriffs department. That was enough for me.

    All of that being said, let me add. For the most part , the fire company is filled with Fine, Up-Standing, Dedicated people whom I have and will always support and respect. I thank them for their service. This was all prior to Len Bernardo so I have no comment there. I do feel to include our Local Veterans would be a better choice. I most certainly did. I too received criticism on festive activities at the town park after the ceremonies. I come from a long line of military service people. I was raised to always salute the flag, honor those that gave their all, and enjoy the liberties that they so willingly gave their lives for. I was a good steward of the towns money by always coming in under budget. Thank you Carl for your kind words concerning the job I did.

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