Women In Service, Veterans Honored at Central Park Ceremony

Third Annual Women's Veterans Day Tribute Ceremony held in Central Park/Kevin P. Coughlin, Office of the Governor
Third Annual Women's Veterans Day Tribute Ceremony held in Central Park/Kevin P. Coughlin, Office of the Governor

MANHATTAN – Ahead of Veterans Day, a special ceremony was held in Central Park Tuesday at what was once a long-forgotten memorial to women who served overseas during the First and Second World Wars. 

The gathering— which had a long list of dignitaries in attendance— paid homage to women who serve our country and our community in the present, including the first woman to be New York State’s chief executive, Governor Kathy Hochul.

Gov. Hochul receives Women in Service award/Kevin P. Coughlin, Office of the Governor
Gov. Hochul receives Women in Service award/Kevin P. Coughlin, Office of the Governor

“I say on behalf of 20 million New Yorkers, we are grateful,” Governor Hochul told the audience, turning the attention back to crucial role women in service play, after being presented with a ‘Women in Service’ award herself.

ALSO READ | $650k Upgrade Breaks Ground at John Jay Park on the UES

“We are grateful, we want to honor you and not just call you heroes, but treat you like you deserve to be treated with respect, free from assault, free from harassment, so you can simply do your jobs.”

Zeita Merchant of the U.S. Coast Guard salutes Governor Kathy Hochul at a ceremony today in Central Park/Kevin P. Coughlin, Office of the Governor
Zeita Merchant of the U.S. Coast Guard salutes at today’s ceremony/Kevin P. Coughlin, Office of the Governor

The Third Annual Women’s Veterans Day Tribute Ceremony was held Tuesday at the Overseas Service League flagstaff and grove, first planted in 1926, and located inside Central Park near East 69th Street and Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side. 

Other Women in Service award winners today included retired US Army Brigadier General Loree Sutton, NYPD Chief of Interagency Operations Theresa Tobin, FDNY Battalion Chief Michelle Fitzsimmons, Coast Guard Commander Zeita Merchant, Executive director of La Colmena, Yesenia Mata and  disaster mental health volunteer Dottie Brier.

The long-dormant Overseas Service League memorial was rediscovered by a historian in 2019, and consists of a flag pole with a special inscription and more than two dozen trees— each planted in honor of a woman who made the ultimate sacrifice for their service overseas with the Red Cross.

Third Annual Women's Veterans Day Tribute Ceremony held in Central Park/Kevin P. Coughlin, Office of the Governor
Women’s Veterans Day Tribute Ceremony held in Central Park/Kevin P. Coughlin, Office of the Governor

There are currently more than 1.3 million active duty members of the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force— just over seventeen percent of them are women, according to a Department of Defense demographics report.   

ALSO READ | Gloria Steinem, Gloria Allred & Carolyn Maloney Sound Off on Women’s Equality Day

Additionally, research by the Veterans Affairs Department found that women veterans are more than twice as likely to become homeless as women who did not serve in the military.

“We have to do so much more for our recently returning veterans,” Governor Hochul told the crowd, “to make sure that they don’t fall between the cracks and up on our streets, that they are provided a home, a job and education.

For updates around the clock, follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook

Jeep goes up in flames on top floor on Mount Sinai garage

Firefighters Battle Car Fire Inferno at Mount Sinai Parking Garage, Injuries Reported

Smash & Grab robbery at Givenchy store on Madison Avenue/Upper East Site

$79k in Pricey Purses Pilfered from Givenchy in Smash & Grab by 10-15 Men