SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. Amazing Grace filled the air Sunday afternoon in Sleepy Hollow as members of the North Tarrytown Alumni Association gathered to remember their fallen classmates. As William Brown played the song on bagpipes, the crowd quietly sang along, many of them holding flags and wearing Veteran memorabilia.
The ceremony was held at the former North Tarrytown High School, now Winfield L. Morse Elementary School, to honor the 45 former students who gave their lives serving in World War II, Korean and Vietnam wars.
We enjoy everything America has to offer because of the sacrifice of thousands of men and women, said retired Lt. Col. Ted Ostlund, who served in the military for 21 years.
Lt. Col. Ostlund told the teary crowd to let their fallen classmates serve as a reminder that America and its ideals must be defended. He said the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks and recent violence against Americans in Libya stand as proof that the world can be a dangerous place and stressed the importance of those willing to serve the country now more than ever.
The names of each of the 45 men who died in service from the high school were read aloud.
It is here that the names become very personal, Lt. Col. Ostlund said. They were people you know who never came home. While its sad to think of your loss, I hope when you think about them, you do it with a smile.
The ceremony was first held nine years ago when a plaque at the school was dedicated to the 45 fallen men.
Tarrytown Superintendent Howard Smith addressed the crowd and said to keep in mind how early in life the 45 men died, not long after walking through the halls of the school.
It is usually not the old or middle-aged who serve us, Smith said. It is the young and vibrant.
As the ceremony came to an end, the Sleepy Hollow High School Band Ensemble played America The Beautiful while the crowd of alumni dispersed.
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