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West Harrison Vet Fights For Law Recognizing POW/MIAs

Assemblyman David Buchwald, D-White Plains, recognizing West Harrison resident Salvatore Monastra. Monastra is a Vietnam veteran who worked with Buchwald to develop this legislation.
Assemblyman David Buchwald, D-White Plains, recognizing West Harrison resident Salvatore Monastra. Monastra is a Vietnam veteran who worked with Buchwald to develop this legislation. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Assemblyman David Buchwald (D–White Plains) announced Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill Buchwald authored that would require local governments to display the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action flag when it is provided to the municipality by a local veterans organization.

The idea for the bill came from Buchwald’s constituent in West Harrison, Salvatore Monastra. He is a Vietnam veteran and worked hand-in-hand with Buchwald to develop this legislation. The bill was signed by Gov. Cuomo just after National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which this year was on Friday, Sept. 19. “I’m very pleased to have seen a constituent’s idea become law, and I continue to encourage the residents of my Assembly District to tell me their thoughts on how to improve New York State government,” Assemblyman Buchwald said.

“I thank Gov. Cuomo for signing this legislation, particularly following National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which will encourage the display of the POW/MIA flag in New York State. Our nation’s current military engagements only serve as reminders of the sacrifice made by the men, women and families of our armed forces,” he said. Monastra said, “This flag honors the heroes who leave their lives behind to defend our freedom and I thank Assemblyman Buchwald for his committed efforts to preserving the memory of our brave men and women who fought for us.”

Monastra approached Buchwald’s office with his idea in 2013, and worked with Buchwald throughout the process. Monastra helps honor his fellow veterans by volunteering his time with the New York State Council of Veterans Organizations. Buchwald's bill requires local municipalities to display the flag on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day as well as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

The bill was sponsored in the State Senate by Sen. Greg Ball (R –Patterson).

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