VFW Post 5791 Observes Loyalty Day

May 12, 2017


by David S. Morin

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5791 held its Annual Loyalty Day Award Program at the post hall on May 5 to recognize those who show patriotism and heroism.

Loyalty Day is observed each year on May 1 in the United States.  This day was set aside to reaffirm loyalty to the country and for the recognition of the heritage of America’s freedom.  The United States Congress made the official holiday on July 18, 1958.  The first official observance of Loyalty Day was proclaimed on May 1, 1959, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Loyalty Day is not recognized as a federal holiday, so many people across the country are unaware of it.  The day is to honor those within the community who help support United States veterans.

The evening began with the Alvirne High School ROTC posting the colors.  Program Coordinator Rob Everett served as a master of ceremonies of the event.  The awards program includes the towns of Hudson, Litchfield and Londonderry.  The VFW Hall was filled with family, friends and community leaders there to support this year’s recipients.

Scholastic Awards

Voice of Democracy:  first-place winner Georgie Gentile, Alvirne High School and second place winner Benjamin Desrocher, Alvirne

Patriots Award

First-place winner Ethan Labbe, Londonderry Middle School

Teacher of the Year Award

Lt. Col. Christian Cheetham, United States Air Force Retired, Alvirne High School.

A very special presentation was made to three Hudson police officers who saved the life of a man suffering a medical condition in 2016.  Officers Paul Balukonis (retired); Ronald Cloutier and Brian Morgan received the Lifesaving Award.  The officers working as a team performed CPR and used a defibrillator to revive Scott Tinkham before the arrival of emergency medical services.  He was at the awards event to witness the officers receive their awards and thank them for saving his life.

Loyalty Day Awards

Police:  Lieutenant David Cayot Hudson Police Department

Fire:  Lieutenant Edward Clancy, Litchfield Fire Department; Inspector Dave Hebert, Hudson Fire Department

Town:  Janusz Czyzowski, Londonderry Director of Public Works; David Mellen, Litchfield Transfer Station Recycling Manager; Jay Twardosky, Supervisor Hudson Highway Department.

Elementary School:  Janice Spry, Nottingham West School; Maurissa Fluet, Griffin Memorial School; Susan Parece South Londonderry School.

Middle School:  Dave Walsh, Litchfield Middle School; Susan Rowe, Londonderry Middle School; Deborah Luszey Hudson Middle School

High School:  Steve Juster, Londonderry High School; Jennifer LaFrance, Alvirne High School; Nathan Cooper, Campbell High School

Post 5791:  Walter Tarkosky, Post 5791; Patricia St. Germain, Auxiliary, 5791

The awards program was closed with a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace” by Ethan Labbe of Londonderry Middle School.