Manhasset Memorial Day festivities salute veterans, students

Bill San Antonio

Some carried flags. Some played bagpipes. Some smiled and waved from the back seats of classic cars.

More than 20 organizations proceeded up Plandome Road in Manhasset’s annual Memorial Day parade Monday, en route to a ceremony at the Manhasset Secondary School honoring the community’s veterans.

There, members of American Legion Post 304 and the American Legion Auxiliary presented Manhasset and St. Mary’s high school students with various leadership awards and crowned Julia Henry as Poppy Queen.

“I’m happy to inform you that the future of our country is in good hands,” said James Brooks, vice commander of Post 304.

Manhasset senior Andrew Moshova and St. Mary’s senior Anthony Bosko were presented with Post 304’s School awards — which Brooks said recognizes a student’s integrity, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service.

“Service, to your country and community, is an integral part of the implicit contract we make as members of a democratic society,” said Moshova, a member of several honor societies and head of science tutoring at the afterschool program Adventures in Learning.

“By giving our time to help those around us, we continue to pay tribute to the men and women who fight for our freedom,” he added.

The auxiliary presented Manhasset senior Alexa Durso and St. Mary’s senior Elizabeth Mannion with its Americanism awards, which its president Patricia O’Brien said recognized a combination of academics and community service.

“Although on all days, we must remember all those who have served and are currently serving, Memorial Day is a day specifically set aside as a day of remembrance not only for us to celebrate our country and its freedoms, but to reflect on those freedoms and who protects them,” said Mannion, who plans to study speech pathology at Duquesne University this fall. “We must never forget that we are the land of the free because of the brave.”

Post 304 and its auxiliary also announced the recipients of the Empire Boys State and Empire Girls State awards, through which they will attend a leadership conference this summer.

Manhasset junior Marco De Sanctis, St. Mary’s junior Colin Dunning, Peter Guariglia of Manhasset Boy Scout Troop 71 and Ryan Shelley of Manhasset Boy Scout Troop 97 will be sponsored at Empire Boys State, while Brooks said neighboring communities will sponsor three other Manhasset boys at the conference.

O’Brien said Henry will represent Manhasset High School at Empire Girls State and Cara Midwinter will represent St. Mary’s.

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