Members of the Albertson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5253 saluted both fallen and surviving members of the U.S. armed forces Monday during their annual Memorial Day ceremony and parade.
The morning began on the front lawn of the post’s headquarters, where post members and politicians spoke surrounded by family and Albertson Fire Department members.
“Today, Memorial Day, our nation honors all our veterans of all wars,” said master of ceremonies Anthony Catalono, who served in World War II. “The real heroes are our fallen comrades buried in our national cemeteries here and abroad. They gave their lives for their country so we could enjoy the freedom we have today.”
He encouraged those in younger generations to maintain the significance of Memorial Day, rather than letting it get buried in festivities that come with summer kicking off.
Quartermaster Mark E. Washburn lowered the flag to half-staff in honor of members of the services who had died. Later that day, it was raised to honor those still living.
The annual ceremony included the recitation of eight names, each a veteran affiliated with Post 5253 who died between June 2018 and Memorial Day.
The Post has been losing active members, so it was not able to have a firing squad for the ceremony.
Elected officials in attendance included Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Councilman Peter Zuckerman and Clerk Wayne Wink from the Town of North Hempstead, state Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, state Sen. Anna Kaplan and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
“I’m an original Albertsonian,” DiNapoli said. “I remember as a kid when there was a firing squad.”
Bosworth and Wink noted that June marks the 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy.
“If it weren’t for the American forces, for the servicemen, who stormed those beaches in Normandy, the liberation of Western Europe may never have occurred and life as we know it may never have been the same,” Wink said. “That devotion, what Lincoln described as the fullest measure of devotion to our nation, cannot be forgotten.”
A parade that included the Albertson Fire Department followed the ceremony, traveling down Searingtown Road.
“We’d like to ask that everybody take a moment of their day to remember the people who sacrificed their lives, who never came back, for our freedom, so we could be out on this lovely day,” said Albertson Fire Department Chief Jay Janowitz.