A duty much appreciated

Published Jan 3, 2017 at 4:00pm

This time of year we are bombarded by statistics: Some describe the most of this or most of that in 2016 or whatever year that is coming to a close. Some are important and some not so important.

Last week the Daily Sentinel ran a story with some numbers from the New York National Guard that caught our attention.

These were figures on the 12,000 military funerals conducted by New York Army and Air National Guard honor guards, particularly poignant statistics because many of the funerals were for our elderly World War II and Korean War veterans.

Here are some highlights of the report on the vets who qualified for military funerals that include the folding and presenting of the U.S. flag and the playing of Taps:

— A total of 12,271 honor guard funerals conducted by the New York Army and National Guard.

— Units from regions across the state provide honor guards, including Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS), stationed at Griffiss Business and Technology Park. EADS was listed as having done 47 funerals.

— The Army National Guard operates from nine locations. The Air National Guard honor guards operate at each of the New York Air National Guard’s fives wings and EADS in Rome.

We owe a debt of thanks to those members of the military who devote the time, training and effort to participate in the military funerals and assuage the grief of those families who have lost a loved one.