It is fitting to honor our deceased military veterans all year long, but no time is more fitting than during a Memorial Day commemoration.  And Memorial Day 2021 was no different.

Corporal Michael Mayne, 21,  of Burlington Flats, N.Y., gave his life for his country while serving in the U. S. Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  On February 23, 2009, Mayne was killed when his unit came under heavy small arms fire from insurgents near Balab, Iraq.  Also killed in this action were two other American soldiers and the unit's translator.

At the time, Mayne was serving in the 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, a unit of the 25th infantry Division that had been based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

This Memorial Day, the name of Corporal Michael Mayne was added to the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame.  During a ceremony, remarks were made by former NYS Senator James Seward as well as current New York State Senator Peter Oberacker.

Seward said:  “Corporal Michael Mayne was an exemplary soldier who cared deeply about his country and the men and women he served alongside.  As my final inductee to the Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame, I could think of no one more deserving.”   

Corporal Mayne’s parents Cathy and Lee accepted the honor on behalf of their son.  Additionally, members of the 1st Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, who served with Corporal Mayne, made the trip to Burlington to take part in the ceremony.

Senator Peter Oberacker said, “We owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the men and women who have fought and died for our freedoms.  Corporal Michael Maybe personified the true meaning of hero and it is my extreme honor to join Senator Seward in presenting this fitting honor.”

Corporal Mayne was a 2006 graduate of Edmeston Central School.  His Hall of Fame plaque reads;

 Corporal Michael L. Mayne – United States Army

 Corporal Michael L. Mayne, 21, of Burlington Flats, proudly served in the United States Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom.   He was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, a unit of the 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Corporal Mayne tragically lost his life, along with two other American soldiers and a translator on February 23, 2009, in Balad, Iraq when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire.

Prior to his service to his country, Michael had already left an indelible mark on his hometown that will last for generations to come.

On Memorial Day 2003, he unveiled a very special Eagle Scout project in memorial park in his hometown of Burlington Flats – flagpoles for each branch of the military.  To this day, flags representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and the United States continue to wave.  A memorial to Michael has since been installed underneath the flags he so proudly conceived and built.

A 2006 graduate of Edmeston Central School, Michael was known for his sense of humor and friendly nature.  He knew from a young age that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and serve his nation in the military.  He joined the Army shortly after his high school graduation.  The Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES established a scholarship in his name for students in the natural resources and welding programs or who planned to enlist in the military.

Michael’s courageous military service earned him a number of honors including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal of Valor, Global War on Terror Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, and Iraq Service Ribbon.

Corporal Michael Mayne exhibited a steadfast commitment to our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice.  His service in uniform and his contributions to his community will never be forgotten.

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