Westchester County Hospices Host 7th Annual Veterans Breakfast

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Hospice of Westchester, Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam, Jansen Hospice and Palliative Care and Phelps Hospice honor record number of local veterans

Veterans and supporters participate in the Pledge of Allegiance during the seventh annual Veterans Breakfast, hosted by Westchester County’s four local hospices, on Nov. 10.

A record number of nearly 500 veterans and supporters attended the breakfast, making it one of the area’s largest indoor ceremonies for veterans.

Continuing the tradition of honoring those who have served our country, Westchester County’s four hospice organizations hosted their seventh annual inter-hospice countywide breakfast on Thursday, November 10. The event, which was held at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, honored county veterans who proudly served in all five branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Coast Guard. A record number of nearly 500 veterans and supporters attended the breakfast, making it one of the area’s largest indoor ceremonies for veterans.

Co-sponsors of the event included Hospice of Westchester; Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam; Jansen Hospice and Palliative Care; and Phelps Hospice. According to the Westchester County Veterans Service Agency, 56,000 veterans currently live in the county.

The morning began with the posting of the colors and Pledge of Allegiance by the Hawthorn Post 112 American Legion Color Guard. Following a welcome from hospice representative Cornelia Schimert, RN, BSN, Hospice Chaplain Reverend Bruce C. Page shared a touching invocation. Speakers included Ronald C. Tocci, director of the Westchester County Veterans Service Agency, and keynote Sergeant Major Corey K. Cush, Troop Command, US Army, who gave a heartfelt speech to the veterans and supporters in attendance.

During the program, Master Sergeant Mary Kay Messenger and Master Sergeant Brian Broelmann from the United States Military Academy at West Point performed patriotic songs, including the fight song for each military branch and “God Bless America.” The Soundettes, a four-part women's acapella group directed by Eileen Dungan, also performed songs of the decades.

The program ended with Reverend Ervin R. Graves and Sergeant Major Cush leading a Remembrance Ceremony, joined by Retired Staff Sergeant Kenneth Barnes, who performed a moving rendition of Taps. The morning concluded with Master Sergeant Messenger and The Soundettes performing “America the Beautiful.”

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Kayleigh Lentz
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