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News Release

June 30, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Veterans Memorial Mile Dedicated on Dutchess Rail Trail
Serene mile of trail honors the men and women who have served

Poughkeepsie…  Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus was joined by local veterans, elected officials and families this morning to dedicate the new “Veterans Memorial Mile” along the Dutchess Rail Trail, a special one mile trail section honoring all of the Dutchess County veterans for their service to our country on behalf of our community.   The “Veterans Memorial Mile” is located in the Town of Wappinger, starting at Diddell Road going south toward the Sprout Creek.

Veterans Memorial Mile DedicationDutchess County Legislator Joseph Incoronato, who represents the Towns of Wappinger and  Poughkeepsie in District 15, opened the ceremony and welcomed the crowd.   “We are grateful to the countless men and women who have answered the call to serve and defend the freedoms we all hold dear.   The Veterans Memorial Mile along the Dutchess Rail Trail is a tribute to you, our county veterans, and we are very proud to have the Veterans Memorial Mile here in the Town of Wappinger.”

Dutchess County is home to more than 20,000 veterans.   With the popularity of the Dutchess Rail Trail drawing thousands of residents each week, County Executive Steinhaus knew there was special opportunity to honor local veterans for their service and their sacrifice. “Our local veterans are the heart of our country, and now they will have a special place in the heart of the Dutchess Rail Trail.  This is our opportunity to say THANK YOU to our veterans, we are grateful for your service and we appreciate your sacrifice.”

“The “Veterans Memorial Mile” is located on a stretch of the trail that is one of quietest areas along the Dutchess Rail Trail.   County Executive Steinhaus noted, “We chose this area of the Dutchess Rail Trail because the beauty of the trees, flora and rocks cuts make an ideal place to quietly reflect on the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces.”

Dutchess County Legislator Robert Weiss, who represents the Town of East Fishkill in District 12, also spoke at today’s event, “Dutchess County has answered the call in every major conflict in our nation’s history and I have confidence that in the future freedom loving men and women of Dutchess County will continue to answer the call.    Thank you to County Executive Steinhaus for creating this Veterans Memorial Mile, it will a place on the Dutchess Rail Trail where families may take a few moments to reflect, to learn and give thanks to those who have provided the freedoms that we so richly cherish.”

The start and ending sections of the “Veterans Memorial Mile” are denoted by stone monuments originally used to support one of the Maybrook Rail Line’s railroad bridges over the Fallkill Creek.   Each of the monuments features bronze plaques with the inscription:

Welcome to the
Veterans Memorial Mile

This mile of the Dutchess Rail Trail is dedicated to the brave service men and women of the United States Armed Forces, past and present.  We remember and honor their service and sacrifice in protecting these United States of America and the freedoms we hold so dearly.

God Bless America.

The “Veterans Memorial Mile” will also feature customized signage about the five branches of the United States Military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.   Prototypes of the signage were on display at today’s event.  The signage includes information about the mission, values and principles of each of the five Armed Forces branches.

“This Veterans Memorial Mile will be an opportunity for people to learn more about each of the branches of our armed services and to truly reflect and appreciate the sacrifice of the men and women who have served on our behalf in each of those branches,” said Dutchess County Veterans Services Director Nelson Eddy Rivera, USN (Ret).

Amenities along this section of the Dutchess Rail Trail will be focused on veterans as well.   Semper Fi Parents of the Hudson Valley, a local support network of parents and families whose adult children are serving in the Marines, Army, Navy or National Guard, have donated a bench to be placed along the Veterans Memorial Mile.   Several other veteran organizations have expressed interest in donating additional benches as well as other amenities such as garden areas.

Thousands of residents and visitors have enjoyed the Dutchess Rail Trail, with the number of visits surging since the opening of the Phase III this past May, which connected more than 8 miles of trail in LaGrange and Wappinger to East Fishkill.   The Veterans Memorial Mile is certain to be a popular stop along the trail.

“Dedicating the Veterans Memorial Mile today was a wonderful way to kickstart the July 4th celebration of our nation’s birth and remember all of the men and women who have served our country with honor in defense of all of the freedoms we hold so dear,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.  “Thank you to all of our veterans for your service.”

A photo gallery from today’s event can be found online at the Dutchess County website:


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