November 13th, 2013
This Week in Orange County 11-13-13
Orange County Executive Edward Diana
I want to thank everyone who took the time to vote last Tuesday. By exercising your right as a citizen of the greatest nation on Earth you have proven that democracy works. You let your voice be heard and chose our next leaders. Congratulations to County Executive-elect Steve Neuhaus on his victory and to all the newly-elected and re-elected candidates who won at the polls.
This was a very different election day for me than years past. I voted via absentee ballot and watched the returns roll in on my Ipad from the comfort of my hospital bed at Columbia Presbyterian. Text messages from family and friends throughout the night kept me abreast of the action in Orange County. While I wish I could have been there in person to join in the celebration, I am in the exact place I need to be following liver transplant surgery.
There are really no words to adequately express how eternally grateful I am to the organ donor and the donor’s family for making the decision to share the gift of life with me. It has been mere days after surgery and I am already feeling better and stronger. This selfless gift has changed my life – more than that – it has saved my life - and for that I will be forever grateful. If you have not yet registered to be an organ donor, please consider doing so today. The five minutes it will take to register have the potential to change lives, many lives, in fact. To register, visit www.donatelifeny.org.
Thank you to all my family, friends, and colleagues who have kept me and my family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. The outpouring of support has been absolutely overwhelming. I believe in the power of prayer and positive thinking and I am happy to serve as proof that it does indeed work. My family and my office have been sharing your calls, texts, Facebook messages, cards and good wishes with me since I went into surgery Saturday. They are all much appreciated and I look forward to being back in Orange County as soon as possible.
With Veteran’s Day right around the corner, I want to remind you that the right to vote, and other rights that form the foundation of our great nation, are made possible in large part thanks to the service and sacrifice of our veterans. It is the results of the dedication and commitment of our brave men and women in uniform – those who have served and those who currently serve – that we are able to enjoy the freedom and liberty that we cherish so dearly. It is because of them that the United States of America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. I hope that you will join me in paying tribute to our service men and women not just on Veteran’s Day, but each and every day. When you cross paths with a veteran or a service man or woman in uniform, please stop and thank them for all that they’ve done, and continue to do, to keep us safe from harm.
If you are, or know, a veteran from Orange County who is in need of assistance, please contact the phenomenal team at Orange County’s Veterans Service Agency to learn more about the programs and services they provide. Under the leadership of Director Tony Zippo, a Navy veteran, they’ll help ensure our County’s veterans receive more than $40 million in benefits and compensation this year.
If you treasure your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – thank a veteran! Until next week...