Orange County Veterans Memorial Day Scheduled for This Saturday September 29th

Goshen and Newburgh Events Honor Local Veterans

     On Saturday, September 29, 2012, the community is invited to honor our veterans by increasing awareness of September 29, 1918, the day 39 men from Orange County died in the battle of the Hindenburg Line. The event is sponsored by the County of Orange, the Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc., and the Newburgh Armory Unity Center.

     The day begins at 10:00 a.m. at the Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Goshen, New York. At 1:00 p.m., the event will continue at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, 321 South Williams Street in Newburgh.

     The event will include art exhibits, USO Entertainment, military artifacts, re-enactors, a photography wall of honor and refreshments for those in attendance. In addition, guest speaker MGen James Livingston, a USMC Ret. Vietnam and Medal of Honor Recipient, will address the crowd.

     Pictured, Newburgh Free Academy football players hold a poster for the upcoming event. The history of NFA football and the lives lost in the battle of the Hindenburg Line hold a special significance.

     An excerpt from the book, Encyclopedia of Newburgh Free Academy Football, by Richard E. Durbin, a National Board Certified Social Studies teacher, helps explain the historical story. It is believed by some that the term "Goldbacks" became widely accepted as the NFA team name largely in part because of the impact a World War I soldier made by taking his NFA jersey to war with him.

     When the young man, Walter D. Allison, headed to war, it is believed that he took his NFA jersey with him to keep him warm and remind him of home. Allison was killed at the Battle of Hindenburg Line.

     Later, another soldier was in need of clothing and found the shirt in a box of unclaimed clothing. After picking up the blue sweater with a yellow ĎNí- which was similar to the kind of sweater worn by his football team back home in Newburgh- the man inquired about the sweater and was told of Allisonís story and realized that he was in fact from Newburgh.

     Throughout the years, the jersey has been kept in honor of Allison near the Athletic offices at Newburgh Free Academy.