State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, today joined the rest of the state Senate in a resolution honoring World War II veterans on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
With Seward’s support, the Senate today also approved a packet of pro-veteran legislation, including exempting veterans’ posts from paying state taxing on fuel oil.
“Veterans groups do a great deal for their members and communities, removing a layer of bureaucracy and saving them a few dollars is the least we can do,” said Seward. “My bill would provide veterans groups with the same exemption that is given to religious and charitable organizations.”
Wherever George Voris and Harold Lamberton went, there were people waiting. “They had flags, signs welcoming us,” said Voris. “Everywhere we went, people were greeting us with banners.”
“On the way to the airport, we had a motorcycle escort,” added Lamberton. “At the airport, they had an honor guard waiting for us.”
Lamberton and Voris, both residents of St. James Manor, took part on Sept. 6 in the Leatherstocking Honor Flight, a flight that included the effort’s 1,000th participant. The group is a local hub of the national Honor Flight Network, which flies veterans to Washington D.C. to tour war monuments and memorials at no cost to the veterans. “Somehow, they raise the money,” said Voris. “We didn’t have to pay a cent.”
Both Lamberton and Voris served in World War II. Lamberton was a mechanic in the CBI – China, Burma, India – Theater, in 1943-46. “I didn’t see combat, but I was close to it,” he said. “I fixed their trucks, equipment, and that’s where I learned to ride a motorcycle.”
Voris, stationed in England, flew 30 missions as a navigator aboard the B-29 Superfortress Bomber, “Paper Warrior.” “I got there just after D-Day and was done by Thanksgiving,” he said. “After that, I trained the other navigators.”
He flew bombing missions over Munich and Berlin, aiming for oil refineries, airfields, the railroad and the Autobahn. He was discharged in 1945 and is the only other member of his crew still living.
The flight left at 6:30 a.m. from Albany and arrived in Baltimore around 8. Lamberton and Voris joined 48 other veterans and their escorts on two buses. Voris was escorted by his friend Robert Parmeter, and Lamberton was joined by his son, Harold Edwin. “At the airport, they gave us packets of cards and letters people had written,” said Voris.
“We had 50 cards from everyone here at St. James,” Lamberton added. They were also given a copy of Stephen Brown’s book “The Jewel of the Mall,” a collection of photographs of the WWII Memorial.
From Baltimore, they were bused to D.C., where well-wishers were gathered with signs that read “Thank You” and “Free Hugs for Vets.”
They toured the memorials for the Korean War, Vietnam, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery and the WWII memorial. “It’s a beautiful sight,” said Lamberton as he turned the pages of the book. “I wish we could have seen it all lit up at night.”
After a stop for dinner, the veterans returned to the airport, but a storm delayed their flight two hours. “We didn’t get back to St. James until 2:30 a.m.,” said Lamberton. “It was a long day.”
TODDSVILLE – Leslie A. Parshall, 90, a World War II veteran who in 2005 erected a monument honoring all veterans at his Greenough Road home, passed away Sunday afternoon, April 9, 2017, at Focus Rehabilitation & Nursing Center at Otsego.
He was born Nov. 16, 1926, in Saranac Lake, a son of Howard and Gladys (Gowett) Parshall. He first attended a one-room schoolhouse and then continued his education in Cooperstown. On Aug. 19, 1948, Les married Lois M. Harvey in Cooperstown.
Veterans, families and friends gathered to enjoy selections of historical patriotic music performed this afternoon by the Oneonta Community Concert Band at it’s 17th annual Salute To Veterans Concert at the Foxcare Center. Above, local veterans Tony Drago, Army, and John Brooks, Air Corps, applaud as the band finishes “Hail To The Spirit of Liberty” by John Philip Sousa. At right, Gretchen Becker, Walton, on tuba, and percussionists Ben Wendrow, Oneonta, and Dave Geasey, Oneonta, perform “The Official West Point March” by Philip Egner. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Veterans Day commemorations are planned today in Oneonta, Cooperstown and around Otsego County at 11-11-11, when the Armistice ending World War I was signed at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of November in 1918.
In Oneonta, the commemoration will be at the monuments at the top of Veterans Memorial Walkway in Neawha Park. In Cooperstown, at the Doughboy Monument at the foot of Pine Boulevard across from The Otesaga.