A large crowd of family, friends, former neighbors, veterans and elected officials showed up for Friday morning’s dedication of Arden Place in New City in memory of Major Thomas Kennedy, who was killed in Afghanistan on August 8, 2012. The street dedication was the first of several weekend events honoring him.
Major Kennedy’s brothers George and John, his parents, George and Patricia, and other family members attended the service and thanked the town for its recognition.
Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack described the dedication as an acknowledgement of the loss of Major Kennedy.
“For us it’s a time to recognize and pay tribute to a Clarkstown son that has paid the ultimate sacrifice in fighting for and protection our liberties around the world,” said Gromack.
Clarkstown Police Chaplain Rev. David Lothrop, who led the service, said, “The renaming of this street will always remind us that freedom has a high price and Major Thomas Kennedy paid that price so that all of us can continue to enjoy the freedom we richly enjoy.”
Rev. Lothrop asked for separate moments of silence for Major Kennedy, saying he laid down his life for his family, his friends and every American, for those who have served, for those have been wounded and for those currently serving.
Rev. Lothrop said, “Major Kennedy has woven some beautiful memories into our hearts.
Major Kennedy’s brother, George Kennedy III, spoke about the dedication and said although it do not make the loss easier to bear it did help the family to know there is community support.
After the unveiling of the street sign, he said, “While this is really tough to look at it. This is really special to us and our families.”
Kennedy said when he arrived on the street he walked around the house and it brought back a lot of good memories.
“Arden Place is a very special place for us. It’s the place where we grew up,” he said, adding they nicknamed the block the street of champions.
“But in reality Tommy is a champion,” said Kennedy. “Tommy did some incredible things not only as a person but as a soldier. He loved what he did and he did it very well.”
George and his brother John both expressed gratitude for the recognition of their 35-year-old brother Thomas from residents and others.
“It’s quite an honor for us,” said George Kennedy III. “We just want to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of this.”
John Kennedy said there has been an outpouring of support in another way.
“I think we also want to thank the community for all the donations George and I have been able to raise for Tommy’s twin two-year-olds,” said John Kennedy.
About 2,900 people from across the country contributed almost $400,000 toward a $500,000 goal. for the education of Brody Thomas and Margaret Mae. Donations to the online web site, www.youcaring.com, can be made by typing in keywords “Kennedy’s Angels.”
Major Kennedy’s wife and children are expected to join family members at the dedication of a rink in his honor at Sport-O-Rama tonight at 6 p.m. On Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., Major Kennedy will be remembered at his Salisbury Preparatory School at the varsity hockey’s team home opener and in the evening at a hockey game at West Point against American International at 7:05 p.m.