SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—NOV. 6, 2018—Schenectady County Veterans Service Agency Director William H. Frank; Albany Symphony Orchestra Music Director David Alan Miller; Proctors Collaborative CEO Philip Morris; Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara; Patriot Guard Riders New York Captain Bill Schaaf and members of his organization; Congressman Paul Tonko and others joined Tuesday to dedicate a POW/MIA Chair of Honor at Proctors.
The chair, placed in the balcony of the historic theatre, will remain perpetually empty, reminding all who visit Proctors that even though our soldiers may not be with us, we always hold a space for them.
Morris thanked Schaaf for bringing the chair, dressed and draped in a ceremonial sleeve, to Proctors.
Tonko (Representative NY 20th District) said, “A POW/MIA Chair of Honor signifies so much, not just on Election Day, or on our upcoming Veterans Day, but always. It is important to recognize our absent service members, and to thank them, and their families, for their sacrifice.”
Schaaf, surrounded by flag-bearing members of the Patriot Guard Riders, has been instrumental in raising awareness of POW/MIA throughout the region; he acknowledged honored guests and fellow veterans, including Frank, who called the event “an important milestone in bringing light to POW/MIA issues.”
Santabarbara (111th New York State Assembly District), an eight-year United States Army Reservist, said, “Schenectady is right to dedicate a Chair of Honor, and its placement at Proctors will ensure it is seen by many and be a permanent sign of hope for a POW/MIA return.”
Miller will conduct an Albany Symphony Armistice Centennial performance of Britten’s War Requiem Saturday at Proctors. Appropriately, it will be the first use of the MainStage following the dedication.
“We are humbled,” said Miller, “and will keep a place in our hearts as we perform the War Requiem and reflect upon the lives and losses of WWI.”