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Fourteen veterans who served aboard the famed U.S.S. Enterprise in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor will have transportation to their annual reunion events this week thanks to the intervention of County Executive Robert P. Astorino and the Westchester County Veterans Service Agency. The veterans, who are coming to Westchester from around the country and are staying in Rye, needed a way to get to the military sites that they were scheduled to visit and reached out to the county executive for assistance.
As a result of the county executive’s outreach, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, an international law firm with offices in White Plains, and Liberty Lines Transit, Inc., a contract operator of Westchester County’s Bee-Line bus system, generously agreed to jointly sponsor two coach buses. The buses will transport the veterans and their families from the Doral Arrowwood hotel in Rye Brook where they are staying to the U.S.S. Intrepid in Manhattan and to Veterans Memorial Park in River Vale, New Jersey to see the only major remaining piece from the Enterprise’s hull, the stern plate.
Astorino said, “We are honored that this group of heroes chose Westchester for their annual reunion and are pleased that we could help make their visit a success. This is a great example of the kind of public-private partnerships that we are building here in Westchester.”
On behalf of the county executive, Deputy County Executive Kevin J. Plunkett and director of the Westchester County Veterans Service Agency Vito Pinto were on hand this morning at the Doral Arrowwood to salute the veterans as they boarded the bus while the U.S. Navy fight song Anchors Aweigh played in the background.
The Enterprise, the most decorated ship of the Second World War, launched the first aircraft in defense of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and engaged in 20 of the 22 Pacific War battles. The ship and her fliers and sailors have been the subject of the 10-part History Channel series “Battle-360” and the non-fiction book by Barrett Tillman published earlier this year titled Enterprise: America’s Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II.
Thomas M. Leslie, managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s White Plains office, said, “These individuals are among the Greatest Generation and served their country courageously and honorably. We are pleased to be working together with the county and Liberty Lines to help in this small way.”
Joseph T. Murphy, director of Liberty Lines Transit, Inc. said, “We are very happy to assist Westchester County in its efforts to support and honor the heroes of the U.S.S. Enterprise.”
The reunion was organized and partially funded by the U.S.S. Enterprise (CV6) Association, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving the unique history and memory of the ship and those who served on her.
David Dunbar, a representative from the association and a resident of Yonkers, said: “We chose Westchester because it’s a beautiful place to visit and it’s close to so many attractions that the group wanted to see. This trip means a lot to these veterans and their families, so we try to keep costs as low as possible. We are grateful to County Executive Astorino, Greenberg Traurig and Liberty Lines for coming through for us.”
David’s father, John R. Dunbar, is among the veterans attending the reunion and was born and raised in Ardsley. John R. Dunbar left Ardsley High School when he was a senior to enlist in the navy and served on the ship for a year. He now lives in Chatham, NY with his wife and grandsons.
To learn more about the U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6) Association or to make a donation, visit www.cv6.org.