Armed Forces Day Tribute a success thanks to many

To the editor:

I wish to thank publicly all those who contributed to the 2016 Armed Forces Day Tribute for Veterans at the ITAM Lodge on Sunday, May 22.

Despite competing events and the prospect of rain, the organizing committee did a great job making the second annual tribute a success and an enjoyable day for all those who attended.

The tribute included: the playing of the national anthem, an opening prayer, speeches by a Berkshire Bank representative, Mayor Linda Tyer, and Judge Rudolph Sacco, a tribute to POW/MIAs; taps and a rifle salute, followed by a delicious Italian dinner with dessert and coffee, cooked and served by UNICO of Pittsfield. Each veteran was presented with a pin, participated in a patriotic quilt raffle, and received a thank you letter from Pittsfield grade school students who wrote to the veterans.

I'm sure I speak for veterans from all five of the service branches who attended the tribute in saying how grateful we are for the sincere efforts of so many to remember service men and women and local veterans and to make us feel appreciated. It was very kind. Thank you.

Many thanks to the event organizers, the program committee, the program participants, the elementary school children who wrote letters and drew posters to decorate the ITAM (and their teachers); those in the background who decorated and set the tables, those seniors who made and donated quilts for the raffle, the meal preparers, servers and table help, and to the sponsors who provided the resources to make this wonderful event possible.


The sponsors are the Ralph Froio Center and Pittsfield Council on Aging, UNICO of Pittsfield, the ITAM Lodge, the city of Pittsfield veterans' office, Soldier On, the Berkshire County sheriff's office, Berkshire Bank, Devanny-Condron Funeral Home, and Carr Hardware.

Again, on behalf of the service men and women and attending veterans, thank you very much.

Capt. Stephen P. Garrity, Pittsfield The writer is retired from the US Coast Guard.