BY CHERYL SLAVIN
On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Stony Point honored one of its own, Francis M. (Mickey) Dorsey, a veteran of WWII and the Normandy Invasion.
With flags flapping in the breeze, the ceremony took place under clear blue skies on the steps of Town Hall, where dignitaries heaped awards and proclamations upon Dorsey. Town board members Supervisor Geoff Finn, CouncilmenTom Basile, Jim Monaghan and Karl Javenes, and Deputy Supervisor Jim McDonnell, read a proclamation declaring June 6, 2014 “Francis Mickey Dorsey Day.”
In addition to his service during the war, the proclamation honored Dorsey’s recent receipt of the French Legion of Honor as well as his continued service to the community. Most notably he has remained active in local chapter VFW 8997, where his leadership was instrumental towards installing Stony Point’s 9/11 memorial. He has also continued to advocate on behalf of veterans who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Legislator Doug Jobson led the gathering in song, and also presented a plaque on behalf of the Rockland County Legislature. Assemblyman James Skoufis presented a proclamation on behalf of the Assembly. Dorsey also received recognition from representatives of State Senator William Larkin, Congresswoman Nita Lowy and Rockland Executive Ed Day. Barry Burkes and Ernie Metcalf presented a certificate and medal on behalf of the Sons of the American Revolution.
At the time of the invasion Dorsey was a 19-year-old serving with the 225th Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Radar Battalion. The unit was deployed at the start of the invasion as part of the initial push to locate and destroy enemy aircraft. Dorsey’s section landed on Omaha Beach and despite coming under heavy fire shot down a total of 39 aircraft during the campaign.
In addition to recognizing Dorsey’s service to his country, a number of the speakers also paid tribute to all the service men and women of the United States. A few of these veterans, including VFW Commander Don “Cool Breeze” Branson, were in attendance.
“The D-Day veterans represent the best of America,” Basile stated. “We must always remember what they stand for.”
“Very simply, thank you to all who have served,” Finn added.
Dorsey has been a Stony Point resident for the last 45 years. His wife, Catherine, daughter, Jeryl, and grandson, Eric, also attended the ceremony.
“I’m overwhelmed by this honor,” Dorsey said in his remarks to the crowd. “I’ve been honored many times, but this one tops them all because it’s here, in my hometown, where I can share it with my family, friends and neighbors.”
He reminisced about his fallen comrades, many of whom were very young men who had never seen combat before D-Day, and noted how few World War II veterans were left.
“That is why,” he stated, “I resolved never to let this day pass without remembering those I served with so long ago.”