Since it’s Memorial Day, I figured it was appropriate to focus on one of the many memorials we have in the Capital Region. Across from the New York State Museum is the Women’s War Memorial to represent the women from New York State who have fought for the freedoms in this country that we are so lucky to have. I have re-written the words on this memorial if you haven’t had a chance to visit yet yourself.
PRIDE— New York State women have proudly served in defense of our Nation since the Revolutionary War, despite their lack of military standing before the 1900s. They served in all major conflicts in ever-increasing numbers, volunteering to preserve our freedom. They served in expanding positions of responsibility — from laundress and cook to administrators, from medical and technical personnel to full combatants. New York State women contributed to establishing and maintaining our independence, preserving the Union, abolishing slavery and advancing the cause of freedom and democracy around the world.
COURAGE— In times of conflict, New York State women served the military as society permitted or as the situation demanded. The colonial revolutionary frontiers held little distinction between combatant and non-combatant. Women came forward to replace men as battlefield emergencies demanded and some even disguised their gender in order to serve. Others masked their identity risking their lives as couriers and intelligence agents. They served under hostile fire and were wounded or killed, were prisoners of war and other remain missing. Women of New York State military forces have performed hazardous duties in civil disturbances and natural disasters.
HONOR— New York State women have earned the highest decorations for valor and service from our State and Nation. They have achieved the rank of General and Admiral in both State and Federal service. The value of their contributions has finally been recognized by their ever-increasing integration and opportunities in the Armed Forces. Congress bestowed veteran status on women who served in the military during past conflicts who has not been recognized at the time of their service. The highest honor of New York State women veterans has been to fulfill the ultimate obligation of citizenship… the willingness to make the supreme sacrifice…