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 “We Applaud Our Heroes” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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Every year during February we present the Buffalo Soldiers Award to outstanding African-American veterans who live in Rockland County. A “Buffalo Soldier” is the nickname first given to members of African-American cavalry regiments of the U.S. Army who served in the western United States from 1867 to 1896, noted for their courage and discipline.

Last week I had the honor and privilege of presenting the 2024 Buffalo Soldiers Award to Army Veteran James Epps while Army Veteran Grady Anderson, Jr was presented with the Buffalo Soldiers Lifetime Achievement Award. 

James Epps joined the Army in 1953 and was later stationed in Germany, where he served as a machine gunner until September of 1956, when he was honorably discharged. James has continued to serve his community delivering meals to senior citizens with the Prince Hall Freemasonry Tappan Zee Lodge No. 79, which he has been a member of since 1975.

Grady Anderson, Jr. joined the army in 1959 and where he served overseas in Germany. Upon his discharge in 1963, he returned to Spring Valley. On top of a fulfilling career as an x-ray technician when he came home, he has been a member and Past Commander of Moscarella Post 199, Member of VVA 333, and Member and past Chef de Gare of the 40&8. He also served as Oratorical Chairperson for Rockland County American Legion for 8 years.

Not only is he a past recipient of our Buffalo Soldier Award in 1993 he was co-founder and historian of Buffalo Soldier Awardees and presents that history every year at the event. 

He has received several honors over the years for his tireless devotion to our community including his 60-year membership with First Baptist Church of Spring Valley, where he is also Deacon.

George Crouch, a WWII & Korean War Veteran, was also presented with an Unsung Hero Award by the Buffalo Soldiers of Rockland County. 

It takes a certain kind of person to put your own life on hold to put your country first, but both awardees did it without hesitation. 

Their sacrifice is why we get to enjoy the freedoms we have today.

For that, we are incredibly proud to add their names to the list of Rockland County Buffalo Soldiers recognized over the past 26 years. On behalf of the people of Rockland I thank them for their service to our country and county. 

I also thank the Buffalo Soldiers of Rockland County for granting myself and our Veterans Service Agency Director Susan Branam with Honorary Membership. We will not stop fighting for the wellbeing of veterans and soldiers, both past & present.

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

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Government

FBI Warning of Potential Attack County & Towns, Law Enforcement On Alert

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New City, NY – The County of Rockland, along with towns and law enforcement, are on alert following an FBI warning made Thursday to the House of Representatives. During that panel, FBI Bureau Director Christopher Wray said he was increasingly concerned about “the potential for a coordinated attack here [United States] in the homeland, akin to the Isis-K attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall just a couple weeks ago.”

“As I look back over my career in law enforcement, I would be hard-pressed to think of a time where so many threats to our public safety and national security were so elevated all at once. But that is the case as I sit here today,” said Wray.

Back in March, 144 people were killed and over 500 injured when four armed gunman stormed a Russian concert hall and open fired before setting fire to the building. The Islamic State group took responsibility for what is the deadliest attack in Russia in two decades.

The County of Rockland along with its municipal partners are on alert following the FBI Warning and urge residents who see something to say something.

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Government

Rockland County District Attorney’s Office Held a Senior Scam Presentation At Atria New City

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Chief Assistant District Attorney Patrick Frawley, Executive Assistant District Attorney Nabeela McLeod, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Joseph Santangelo had the opportunity to meet with seniors from Atria in New City to discuss how to identify a scam call, the most recent scams that are targeting senior citizens, and the best ways to protect yourself and loved ones from scams.
This is an ongoing initiative for District Attorney Tom Walsh and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, and we will continue to attend and host these informative presentations across Rockland County.

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