Four veterans, representing1.6 million AFSCME members, paid their respects today to those who have died in service to our nation during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
- Danny Donohue, president of the New York State Civil Service Employees Association, AFSCME Local 1000, served in the Army during Vietnam.
- Danny Homan, president of Iowa Council 61, served in the U.S. Army from 1971-1973. His son, His son Brent, also an Army veteran, was badly injured in Iraq in 2006 when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb.
- Ken Deitz, RN, president of the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP), is an Air Force veteran.
Charles Jurgonis, AFSCME’s Financial Services director, also helped lay the wreath. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War.
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders and Sec.-Treas. Laura Reyes participated in the ceremony as well. AFSCME is a founding member of the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council. This past Veterans Day, Saunders urged Americans to honor veterans with jobs and justice.
“Among our 1.6 million members, there are countless veterans, as well as parents, spouses and partners, children and grandchildren of those who have served our nation in times of conflict and peace,” Saunders said. “While we commemorate those who have died in service, the members of AFSCME recommit to advocating for veterans living each day with the scars of war and the turmoil of an uncertain future.”
The tomb – also called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier although it was never officially named – overlooks Washington, D.C., from its site at the top of a hill in Arlington, Va. On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial here of a single unidentified American soldier who fought in the first World War. Today it symbolizes all Americans who died anonymously in wars, conflicts and incidents since 1776.
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