By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter
May 23, 2018: Mary Lynch Westmoreland, Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired, will serve as the grand marshal for the Bronxville Memorial Day parade and commemoration on Monday, May 28. She is the first woman to be given the honor.
For Westmoreland, the true privilege in serving as grand marshal will be in leading the march for everyone honoring those who gave the greatest service. "This is the one moment when we focus on those who lost their lives," she said, "and recognize them and thank them name by name."
Since moving to Bronxville in 1992, Westmoreland noted, she and her family have made a point to be home for almost every Memorial Day commemoration. "The village truly respects the meaning of Memorial Day and brings everyone together for it, especially the children, who show appreciation for the generations that came before them," she said.
A decorated combat veteran with 31 years of service in the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army, Westmoreland credits family examples, especially an aunt who served in World War II, as her influence for serving in the military. "I came to respect the idea of the voluntary military service for my own life," Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland is a graduate of Pace University and the U.S. Army War College. She pursued graduate studies at Duquesne University and Stony Brook University. Before she joined the Coast Guard in 1976, she was an admissions counselor and foreign student advisor at Pace University. She served as director of operations for EPIE (Educational Products Information Exchange) at Teachers College Columbia University and worked as the executive director of the Long Island University Southampton Campus Women's Center.
While in the military, Westmoreland held positions ranging from command to staff to operational assignments.
In the Army, Westmoreland specialized in systems integration projects, human resources, force integration analysis, policy development, process redesign, and operations. She served in Military Police Brigade missions in the continental United States as well as overseas. She was executive officer to the Department of the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and was executive officer to the Chief of Army Reserve, Headquarters Department of the Army.
From 2013 to 2017, Westmoreland was chairwoman of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, under the secretary of veterans affairs. An active member of the Military Officers Association of America Lower Hudson Valley, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association, she also holds dual roles with the Department of Defense Employer Support of Guard and Reserve Program as New York City area chair and New York region vice chair.
Westmoreland is also active in the Bronxville community, where she is a member of the Rotary Club. She volunteers with the New York City area Midnight Run and is a vocal advocate on behalf of military family, women's, and children's issues and veteran support programs.
Pictured here: Mary Lynch Westmoreland, Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired.
Photo courtesy Col. Westmoreland