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HAVERSTRAW, NY – The Gulf War/War on Terror Monument was designed by a group of Veterans from each of these conflicts. The land where this Monument has been built was purposely designated by Rockland County so that it overlooks the 9/11 Memorial that is forever tied to all of these struggles.

The Monument itself is comprised of several sections:

Five concrete barriers known as T-Walls. T-Walls have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect service members from indirect and direct fire. Mounted on these walls are granite plaques with the eight names of those service members who lost their lives in support of combat operations throughout the conflict areas.

The back wall shows a timeline of the conflicts carved in granite. The center of this wall is a Gold Star that represents all of the families who have lost loved ones during this period. In front of the Gold Star is a rifle facing downward with a helmet on top and combat boots at its base. This is the symbol all service members know as a memorial to a lost comrade in battle.

To the side of the wall is a statue of Megan Leavey, CPL (Ret.), USMC, and her military working dog Rex. This statue is purposely set back on overwatch of this sacred ground. The ground around the monument and between the walls is the color of desert sand. The T-walls are set with wider bases so that visitors to the site can sit and pay tribute to those who served. It is the hope of the committee who designed this Monument that this place will become a site for those who have served to come and reflect on their service, remember those they lost and find some closure to the horrors of war.

Eight names are currently listed on the Monument. SN Gilbert A. Fontaine and SSG Tatiana Dees who gave their lives in Desert Storm. CPL Manuel Lopez III, CPT Phillip Esposito, CPL Steve Vahaviolos and CPL Justin Rivero Garcia who gave their lives in Iraq. SGT Edward Bolen and MAJ Thomas E. Kennedy who gave their lives in Afghanistan. The monument was opened in November of 2018.

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Government

Senator Skoufis Calls for Governor Cuomo’s Resignation

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HAVERSTRAW, NY – Senator Skoufis calls for Governor Cuomo to resign. He released the following statement:

The past week has been a period of significant reflection for our state as we all, with gut wrenching dismay, absorbed the allegations lodged by a number of women against the Governor. Lindsey Boylan’s, Charlotte Bennett’s, and Anna Ruch’s experiences lay bare intolerable hostility, exhibited by a high level of detail, photographs, text messages, emails, journalistic vetting, and the Governor’s non-denials. As subordinates to the Governor, the sexual harassment described by Lindsey and Charlotte is harrowing. The photo of Anna’s face, bearing unmistakable terror, is haunting.

“For these reasons, I cannot in good conscience wait for a months-long inquiry by the Attorney General to run its course. I have seen sufficient evidence to conclude that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the Governor’s behavior represents a pattern of abuse that deems him unfit for office. Governor Cuomo must resign.

“Some fellow Democrats have attempted to compare the current situation to former President Trump, arguing that if he did not face consequences, neither should Governor Cuomo. While dozens of women have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against former President Trump, he is not the standard by which we should be holding our leaders accountable. Putting aside the hypocrisy of many Republicans who were silent on the former President’s behavior, this moment calls for us to demand more and better of ourselves.

“The Governor’s refusal to appear before the public over this past week lends further credibility to the allegations brought forward by the three women – and counting. At a time when our state is demanding answers and accountability, we are instead met with attempts to unduly influence an investigation and, otherwise, silence. Distressingly, the silence speaks volumes.

“A dark cloud hangs over our Capitol, the likes of which makes it extraordinarily difficult for the Legislature to move forward with the essential work at hand. Of equal importance, the women of this state – both current and future – demand a Governor who respects them and leaders who hold him accountable when he does not.”

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Government

“True Partnership” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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Together we are making progress. As of March 2nd, 14.9% of Rockland residents have received their first dose of vaccine. This number is beginning to climb more quickly as vaccine allocations from New York State and the Federal government increase and with the approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine we will soon be making even more progress.

We are collaborating with everyone we can to move this process forward. Recently my Administration, the Governor’s Office and Refuah Health Center were able to get hundreds of vaccines into the arms of many across the entire County with an emphasis on our beleaguered senior population who have been largely boxed out due to the difficulties they experienced with the State website.

Over the last week 280 seniors who had signed up for the Office for the Aging’s COVID- 19 Vaccine Waitlist have been vaccinated with shots originally delivered to Refuah. 80 were vaccinated at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern by hospital staff and 200 were vaccinated at the County’s Fire Training Center by Refuah staff. Our Office for the Aging staff also assisted seniors as they went through the process.

We also partnered with Refuah in connecting to many community groups across Rockland. Refuah vaccinated eligible individuals at these locations:

– Suffern Community Center (in cooperation with the Suffern Mayor’s Office)
– Centro De Amigos
– Yeshiva Spring Valley Schools
–  Horizons of Wurtsburo (Sullivan County)
– Esther Gitlow Towers Senior Housing Center
– Hyenga Lake Senior Housing in Spring Valley
– Konbit Neg Lakay
– Yeshiva of Greater Monsey
– Dunkin Donuts of Suffern

Refuah did tremendous work during our measles outbreak where county-wide over 30,000 MMR shots were given. They are true public health and community partners who know how to get shots into arms.

Rockland residents age 65+ can still sign up to the Senior COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist by calling the Rockland County Office for the Aging at 845-364-2110, Monday through Friday (except holidays), 8:00 am through 5:00 pm. In addition, residents can sign up online http://rcklnd.us/c19-waitlist.

Those 65+ are also being prioritized by pharmacies. You must make an appointment or get on a list at each separate location depending on how their process works. Each week we update the list of locations in Rockland receiving vaccine from New York State; that list is available here: https://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine-allocation/

Refuah, as a Federally Qualified Health Center, is also able to vaccinate anyone who is currently eligible under NYS guidelines at their facilities. You can find more information about signing up with Refuah here: https://refuahhealth.org/get-the-shot/
Additionally, any individual eligible under the NYS guidelines can schedule an appointment at any NYS-operated mass vaccination site through this website: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

We will continue to identify and implement strategies designed to overcome the difficulties presented by the State's vaccine rollout. For those still searching, please be patient. We want to get you vaccinated, and we will as soon as we have the vaccine needed to do so.

*This is a weekly column by Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

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