Caribbean pols honor sacrifice, remember fallen heroes

New York Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Photo courtesy Office of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Caribbean-American legislators on Monday, Memorial Day, honored the sacrifice and remember the lives of all who were killed in military service for America.

“In memorializing those who have lost their lives in defense of others, we show our gratitude for their commitment to protecting their neighbor and nation,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, told Caribbean Life.

“My appreciation goes beyond and is apart from opposition to particular military actions, and is in respect for the courage and dedication of people who step up in the spirit of service – including my own family members,” he added.

“Loss, grief, pain and trauma are universal experiences,” Williams continued. “I hope that by uplifting memories and memorials, we can find solidarity and pursue peace on this meaningful Memorial Day.”

New York State Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn.
New York State Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn.
Photo courtesy Office of New York State Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn

New York State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, honored “the generations of heroic service members of the United States, who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our democracy.

“The Brooklyn Democratic Party also reaffirms our commitment to supporting the active valiant service members who are steadfastly defending our liberties and this nation,” added the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. “This recognition does not only last today—as our communities, borough and nation continue to celebrate our shared values and advance the legacy of our fallen soldiers and the heroes protecting and bolstering our democracy today.

“We hope you can enjoy quality time with friends and family during this special and significant holiday, and don’t forget to thank a veteran for this service and commitment to our nation,” she continued.

Brooklyn Sen. Roxanne Persaud.
Brooklyn Sen. Roxanne Persaud. Photo courtesy of Office of Sen. Roxaane Persaud

As she participated in a Memorial Day March and Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Canarsie Cemetery in Brooklyn, hosted by the Brooklyn Canarsie Lions Club, Guyanese-born New York State Senator Roxanne Persaud told Caribbean Life that “it’s always an honor because we’re paying tribute for our fallen heroes.

“It’s saying, ‘thank you’”, said the representative for the 19th Senate District in Brooklyn.

Council Member Monique Chandler-Waterman.
Council Member Monique Chandler-Waterman.  Photo courtesy Office of Council Member Monique Chandler-Waterman

Assembly Member Monique Chandler-Waterman, the daughter of Jamaican and Barbadian immigrants, who also participated in the ceremony, said the event was “a great start for Memorial Day, so we can recognize the true meaning of Memorial Day – great sacrifice for the men and women, who served, so we can get the freedom today.

“This Memorial Day, I also recognize my dad, who served in the US Army, and my father-in-law, who served in the Army and Navy in the 1960s,” added the representative for the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn.

Anthony Beckford, a US Marine Corps veteran, whose parents hailed from Jamaica, said Memorial Day was “a day of reflection of the honor, commitment, sacrificed and bravery of military personnel who are both known and unknown.

“As a US Marine Corps veteran, I memorialize those lives lost, especially the ones that I knew during my service in the military,” said the Brooklyn resident, who is vying for Male District Leader and State Committee Member for the 43rd Assembly District in Brooklyn.

“The decisions made to join the military are many and the choice to serve the people is a unified duty,” he added. “From the Union Soldiers who lost their lives and were almost forgotten in Charleston, S.C., to those who we have recently lost, I salute you all. Let us remember and memorialize them always.”