AOC joins Vietnam War vets in Queens to mark Memorial Day – New York Daily News

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attend Memorial Day ceremony with veterans in Queens. (New York Daily News)
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined a group of Vietnam War veterans for a somber Memorial Day event in her district on Monday to honor the numerous local residents who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country overseas.
“We’re the borough that is home to the largest population of veterans in all of New York City,” the Democratic congresswoman told the Daily News after participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at Strippoli Triangle square in Woodside, Queens.
Woodside, in particular, Ocasio-Cortez noted, “was home to the largest amount of service members that sacrificed in the Vietnam War.”
“It’s so important that we, every single Memorial Day, show that these are not just past sacrifices, but these are sacrifices that live with us and continue to the present day,” she said. “I’m just honored to be here in the community to do that.”
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens to a veteran speak at the wreath-laying ceremony at the Strippoli Triangle in Woodside, Queens. (Brittany Kriegstein/New York Daily News)
Among those joining Ocasio-Cortez was Ken Smith, 71, a retired corporal in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division.
Smith, who wore a camouflage jacket adorned with his military honors, served 18 months in Vietnam and saw dozens of his comrades perish in the bloody conflict.
“Today is a day of remembrance, because I lost 37 people in two units. I’m the sole survivor,” Smith said after placing a wreath on a flagpole in the square, which is named after Joseph Patrick Strippoli, a local resident who was killed by a landmine near the Cambodian border in 1968.
Corporal Ken Smith, (L) and Sgt. Edwin Morales (R) were part of the ceremony. (Brittany Kriegstein/New York Daily News)
Ocasio-Cortez said the service of “everyday people” like Smith is “what this country is all about.”
“We honor those from our community that not just sacrificed their lives, but the Gold Star families, the parents, the children, and all of those who also live with that sacrifice today,” she said.
Sgt. Edwin Morales, a member of the local American Legion Post, urged New Yorkers to make time Monday to pay tribute to the country’s fallen soldiers.
“People are going to the beach, having barbecues, but take time to remember our fallen brothers and sisters,” he said. “You mourn the dead, and then you celebrate life.”
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News

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