8-county celebration will honor veterans, Gold Star Mothers
Niagara County will be one of eight Western New York counties setting aside the first week of May to honor those who have served, after Legislature Chairman William L. Ross added his signature Thursday to a joint proclamation from those counties' respective heads of government.
Western New York Armed Forces Week, set for May 3-9, is being hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard, and will feature a weekend kickoff at Canalside in Buffalo, as well as an Armed Forces luncheon and Armed Forces ball, both set for the Connecticut Street Armory in Buffalo.
At a ceremonial signing of the proclamation attended by Armed Forces Week representatives, Ross reflected on his own military service.
"I started out my own military career in M47 Patton tanks," Ross said moments after signing the joint eight-county proclamation. "But I never forgot that it wasn't a tank that would go to battle, but the four men inside. With Western New York Armed Forces Week, we are taking time to contemplate the human cost of freedom."
The proclamation noted the eight counties "thank the men and women of our armed forces ... for our way of life" and that the county governments "hold a solemn and deep respect for all serving."
The document also made special note of Western New York's Gold Star Mothers, those women who have lost sons and daughters to war, and wounded warriors.