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Sampson selected to be state’s first veterans cemetery

Seneca County will be the home of the state’s first veterans cemetery.

That decision came on Monday with a vote to identify Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery as a state veterans cemetery.

The vote was unanimous among the nine-member committee tasked with selecting a site for the state’s first veterans cemetery. The size of the property and existing operation made Sampson a front-runner in the selection process. However, there were nearly a dozen responses to the state’s initial request.

The region’s state lawmakers were not only instrumental in the naming of Sampson as the state’s first veterans cemetery, but applauded the decision ahead of Memorial Day.

“It has been my honor to fight for Sampson’s designation as New York’s first state veterans cemetery. This is the good news we have all been waiting for. It’s the result of years of hard work, dedication and perseverance by local veterans, Seneca County, and retired State Senator Mike Nozzolio, who made this one of his top priorities. The tireless work by these individuals has been awe-inspiring, and it reflects our enduring commitment and responsibility to support and honor our veterans. My father was a U.S Air Force veteran who trained at Sampson Air Force Base. This recognition means so much to so many veterans and their families. Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery will continue to proudly serve as a lasting memorial and hallowed resting place for our nation’s greatest heroes,” Sen. Helming said.

“The selection of Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery as New York’s first state veterans cemetery has been more than a decade in the making. Home to the birthplace of Memorial Day, Seneca County has a rich history in honoring our veterans, making Sampson the strongest choice for New York’s first veterans cemetery. Thank you to Sen. Mike Nozzolio for his visionary leadership, Chairman Bob Hayssen, Seneca County Manager Mitch Rowe, Cemetery Director Bill Yale and everyone who worked to make this possible,” Assemblyman Gallahan added.