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Two Somers Men Picked For Veterans' Hall Of Fame

SOMERS, N.Y. – Two Somers residents who served in World War II have been nominated to the second annual Veterans’ Hall of Fame, created by State Sen. Greg Ball to honor outstanding veterans from the 40th Senate District.

Nominee Jack Lederman, a Purple Heart recipient, enlisted in the Army early in the war when he was just 18. He served in the Philippines and was wounded in a firefight with the enemy.

Speaking on his behalf, his wife, Lillian, said, “The experiences he had in the war have always been foremost in his mind. He’s honored and grateful to receive this award.”

Nominee Richard Bertram, a Navy gunner’s mate, spent three years at sea. His ship was bombed seven times and he was involved in four invasions. He went on to become commander of American Legion Post 8213 and has served 50 years in the volunteer fire department.

“I’m surprised they nominated me,” he said. “It’s a great honor and it feels very nice. On the wall in the Somers Town Hall there are six names of men killed in World War II and Vietnam. I’m insignificant compared to those men who lost their lives.”

The nominations were announced by the Somers Town Board. Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy said the board appreciated the opportunity to honor the two veterans “for their extraordinary service to our country.”

Ball (R, C-Patterson) was present at Thursday's board meeting to accept the nomination and include the names on his Traveling Wall. “These two men have been hand-picked because they chose a path of courage, honor, integrity and bravery,” he said.

“It’s a path that helped shape America as we know it, protecting our way of life and liberty. America’s not a great country because of its politicians. It’s a great country because of our veterans.”

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