Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  NEWS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

Dan Hust | Democrat

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Francis Currey waves to the cheering crowd as he enters Morningside Park atop a Jeep.

Currey Day is about more than one man

By Dan Hust
HURLEYVILLE — July 9, 2010 — Francis Currey Day – and the man himself – returned to Hurleyville’s Morningside Park on Saturday in a tribute to those who serve.
“This is the largest crowd I’ve ever seen for the program, and it’s good!” exclaimed organizer Neil Gilberg.
The day featured games, rides, food and fun alongside Morningside Lake, topped off with fireworks at dusk.
But two hours in the evening were dedicated to honoring those who risk their lives every day in aiding others – not just soldiers, but firefighters, EMS workers and police officers.
Emceed by George Cooke and attended by its namesake Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Francis Currey Day proved inspiring and emotional.
Craig and Stephanie Johnson of Operation Support Our Troops, Ray McCarthy of the Committee for the Families of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans, and Teresa Allen of ShopRite received honors and accolades for their efforts to assist servicepeople from the area.
“I don’t know what our soldiers would do without you,” remarked Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.
The Johnsons have sent more than 23 tons of care packages to soldiers overseas in the past eight years, with another round due later this month.
“And this will not stop till all our troops come home,” vowed Craig Johnson.
“I’ve received those packages. I’ve been in the desert,” recalled Loch Sheldrake resident and Navy SEAL Joe Collura, explaining to the crowd the incredible morale boost from just one package.
“It’s not dirt, it doesn’t smell bad, and no one’s shooting at me,” he related. “... It DOES matter!”
Noting that all American soldiers, emergency workers and the like are tied by their commitment to freedom, he told the applauding crowd, “We go out there because we know the job has to get done.”
Following in the tradition of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, he added, “I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor to all of you.”

top of page  |  home  |  archives