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Onondaga County Honors Veterans on Veteran's Day

Angelica Rodriguez / WAER News

Today Onondaga County remembered and honored D-day Veterans and all Armed Service members in the annual Veteran’s Day ceremony at the War Memorial Center in Downtown Syracuse.  70 years ago U-S soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy, France on  D-Day to liberate Europe from Nazi control. 

Andy Navetta is one of 4,000 Onondaga County veterans to serve in World War Two. He is marking a special anniversary of his own.  

“I can never forget November 11th, 1944 when I was discharged from an Army hospital. That was my greatest pleasure and I was 20 years-old. Today I’m 91.” 

The Veterans in attendance included those who served in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, among other wars. Ed Grala served in the Air Force during the Korean War.

Credit Angelica Rodriguez / WAER News
Angelica Rodriguez / WAER News

 “And then all of a sudden they called, they said do you know where you are? You’re 12 minutes over the dateline. You’re in Russian territory. And just about that (time) two megs came over and did a barrel role around them and I thought they were gonna shoot us down.” 

Many thoughts on Veteran’s Day also honor those who did not make it home. Marsha Connor is President of the Gold Star Mothers Association.  The organization is for Mothers who have lost children in active duty. Connor’s son Patrick died during his service in the Persian-Gulf War in 1990.

Gold Star Mother Marsha Connor


“It’s an association that you don’t want new members but, I’m afraid that we have new members. In fact, we’ve picked up about 4 or 5 new members because of Iraq (and) Afghanistan. My son (Patrick) was shot down and killed in the first Persian Gulf in 1991. After 23 years it just seems like yesterday and we have a couple of Vietnam Moms and they would tell you the same thing. Ya know, and their experience; you never forget that child. We were just greatful, you know, that Patrick was found… that closure”

A choir sings "Amazing Grace."
Credit Angelica Rodriguez / WAER News
Angelica Rodriguez / WAER News
A choir performs at the Veteran's Day Ceremony

A large crowd of Veterans attended today’s ceremony at the County War Memorial. Another D-Day Veteran who was honored is 96 year-old Carl Munson. He previously received the Legion of Honor from the French Government for his service.