Westchester Marks Memorial Day with Museum Re-Opening and Launch of Veterans Advisory Council

Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Veterans Service Agency Director Ron Tocci commemorated Memorial Day leading a special ceremony at Lasdon Park in Katonah highlighted by the creation of a new County Veterans Advisory Council and the re-opening of the Park’s Veterans Museum.


 During the ceremony, Latimer signed an Executive Order creating the new Advisory Council which will work with the County Executive’s office and the Veterans Service Agency providing input and recommendations on legislation and budget priorities, as well as policies, procedures, and programs that can help the County better serve both veterans and active-duty military members and their families.


 The 15-member council will include at least one active-duty military member in the ready reserves and at least six members recommended by the Board of Legislators.


 Latimer said: “Our Memorial Day Ceremony is an opportunity to publicly honor the sacrifice of our fallen service members and their families, which we do with humility and gratitude. But the best way we can show our respect is to make sure we’re providing veterans and their families with the ongoing support they deserve. The Veterans Advisory Council we’re creating today will amplify and extend the outstanding work of our Veterans Service Agency, give us an additional avenue to reach out to a new generation of veterans and service members, and ensure that veterans and active-duty service members have a direct line of communication to County government.”


 Tocci said: “Memorial Day is often referred to as the ‘unofficial start of summer,’ but at heart, Memorial Day is one of the most solemn days on the nation’s calendar when we pause as a nation to honor the sacrifice of those men and women who gave all to preserve our freedom. Our responsibility as those who remain goes beyond honor and memory, to providing service to those who served us and education to society at large. That’s why I’m grateful to the County Executive for his ongoing commitment to veterans and the creation of an advisory council on veterans affairs, and to the Parks Department for all their work in reopening the Veterans Museum with this wonderful new exhibit on World War II, which I urge everyone to come see.”


 The refurbished Westchester County Veterans Museum is located inside Lasdon Park. It is open Wednesday to Sunday 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


 The museum reopens with a new exhibit, “The American Experience During World WW II.”


 Eighty–three years ago, on July 10, 1941, 4,000 marines from the 1st Marine Provisional Brigade landed on British-controlled Iceland, thus beginning the American experience during WWII, an involvement that would last four years and span both a European theater and a Pacific theater. 


 Exhibit panels summarize the major battles and highlight stories of local heroes fighting overseas who called Westchester County “home” during the war years. Displays of historic WWII uniforms and military artifacts illustrate the panels.

WWII also impacted the American home front. Panels and artifacts detail the impact of the war from the need to buy war bonds to civil defense preparations and even to events at Lasdon before it was a park.


 Lasdon staff came up with the exhibit concept in February 2023. The exhibit was researched by Curator Gigi Carnes. Alana Green designed the panels, labels, and the overall graphic style. Mark Tolf installed the exhibit. Carol Genovese created the video projection. 


Visit www.westchestergov.com to learn more about Westchester County.