Albany County, New York
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Albany County Executive Mike Breslin and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated World War II veteran James D. Hayes in a ceremony held on Monday, November 1, 2004, in the Cahill Room of the Albany County Office Building.
James D. Hayes, a lifelong resident of Watervliet, served in the United States Army in the 2nd Armored Division during World War II. He served in the Allied advance through Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge. Hayes operated ESSO (Exxon) gas stations, beginning in 1938 until his retirement in 1970.
He was involved in many fraternal, civic and veterans organizations in Watervliet for over 40 years. He was a member of the Watervliet School Board for 21 years, serving in many positions; treasurer of the Watervliet Civic Center for many years; president of the Watervliet Merchants Association and one of the founding fathers of Watervliet Little League. He was also a member of the Watervliet Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, Watervliet Elks Lodge, Lt. John A. Patton American Legion Post and the Catholic War Veterans. Hayes was a lifetime communicant of St. Patrick’s Church in Watervliet, where he served as an usher and a member of the Holy Name and St. Vincent de Paul Societies and was active in St. Patrick’s Food Pantry.
The community recognized his dedicated service with many awards, including the Watervliet Community Council’s Outstanding Citizen Award. In 1998 he was voted into the Ellen Bevins Chapter of the National Honor Society by the Watervliet High School student body, and in 1994 the Watervliet High School football field was designated the James D. Hayes Cannoneer Field for his many years of service to youth and as a linesman for Watervliet Football home games.
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