MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. ? Mount Vernon veterans donated POW/MIA flags to the city on Friday to be flown under all American flags in Mount Vernon. The flags honor prisoners of war and those missing in action.
Vietnam veteran Salvatore Monastra of Mount Vernon led the charge to donate the flags to the city, starting in November when he asked the City Council to approve a resolution accepting the flags. Monastra said they represent the sons and daughters who fought bravely and never returned.
"They sacrificed their lives so you and I could enjoy ours," Monastra said.
Mayor Ernie Davis said that too often veterans are ignored or just given "lip service" when they return.
"We should be ashamed that we tend to forget those who brought us so far," Davis said.
City Council President J. Yuhanna Edwards, also a Vietnam veteran, said it was a no-brainer for the City Council to accept the flags. Edwards said it's important to fly the flags to let young people know what they mean.
Former Assemblyman Ron Tocci, who also served as New York's commissioner of veterans affairs, said the flags will act as a reminder of those who sacrificed their lives for others.
"There are some people who might think this is a menial gesture, but it means that young people will ask the question about the flag, and someone will explain it to them, Tocci said.
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