The City of Rye will continue its tradition of honoring residents who have served their country on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11. Rye American Legion Post 128 will conduct the ceremony, beginning at 10:30 a.m., on the Village Green. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will move inside City Hall.
After welcoming guests, Post 128 Commander Fred de Barros will lead the ceremony. He will touch on American Legion values: the importance of preserving American traditions, improving the quality of life for our nation’s children, caring for veterans and their families, and, most importantly, teaching the fundamentals of good citizenship.
He will then turn the podium over to Rye Mayor Josh Cohn, County Executive George Latimer, and Assemblyman Steve Otis.
To personalize the occasion, Legionnaires and members of the Rye Sons of American Legion will read the intertwined story of Rye veterans Charles Moxhay and Elliott Eakin, who flew a B-17 together as members of the US Army Air Corps 8th Air Force in World War II.
According to information provided by ryevets.org, while waiting in Washington to be assigned a station, Charlie Moxhay ran into fellow Rye High School graduate and friend, Elliott Eakin. The two were eventually stationed in Britain together.
Lieut. Moxhay, who flew with Eakin, “a superlative pilot,” on 30 missions, said: “I can remember at least five times when Eakin saved my life.” Lieut. Eakin had high praise for their crew: “We developed a smooth working team that brought us through many a rough spot.”
Both men survived the war and returned to Rye. They were the fortunate ones. Eighth Air Force airmen suffered the most casualties of any command in World War II – 26,000 were killed in action; another 28,000 became prisoners-of-war. Their valor was unparalleled. As the teenagers and young men of the Eighth battled the enemy at 25,000 feet, such bravery earned them 17 Medals of Honor, 220 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and more than 420,000 Air Medals.