Queens Borough President Donovan Richards hosted the annual Veterans Day remembrance ceremony at Queens Borough Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 15. The ceremony was held to honor Queens residents who have served in the armed forces for the United States over the course of the country’s history.
The event featured the Francis Lewis High School Junior ROTC Color Guard performing the presentation of colors, an invocation and benediction by U.S. Army chaplain Rabbi Manes Kogan of the Hillcrest Jewish Center and remarks by Richards. Additionally, Judge Marcia Hirsch of the 11th Judicial Circuit delivered the keynote address.
The 11th Judicial District includes the Queens Misdemeanor Veterans Treatment Court (QMVTC). This court is responsible for connecting Queens veterans who were arrested for nonviolent drug offenses with substance abuse treatment as an alternative to incarceration. This would ensure those who have served the nation receive the comprehensive assistance they require.
“Queens is a borough of possibility, diversity and opportunity because, first and foremost, Queens is a borough of veterans — heroes who, for centuries, have given so much of themselves to preserve freedom here and around the world,” Richards said. “To all our Queens neighbors who have signed up to serve, we are eternally grateful for your sacrifice. On Veterans Day and every day, we honor your valor.”
Richards also honored three veterans for their services as active duty members of the military and as staunch advocates for veterans in their communities. Among those who received this honor were Specialist Princess Ramos, Lt. Col. Paul Schottenhamel and Signalman 2nd Class Douglas Williams.
According to the NYC Department of Veterans Services, approximately 150,000 veterans reside in New York City. Of that number, over 42,000 call Queens home. This is the highest amount of all the other boroughs.
The event was co-sponsored by the Queens County Women’s Bar Association. It was held in the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall.