Written by Melissa Argueta Friday, 24 February 2012 14:54
This Valentine’s Day, love was a many splendored thing for one Garden City couple who renewed their wedding vows during a romantic ceremony performed by Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale.
Standing among a collection of vintage American aircrafts and fighter planes, a group of Nassau County GIs with compelling wartime love stories gathered together to renew their commitment to each other in front of a large crowd of friends and family.
“Our veterans have proved, time and time again, the commitment and love they have for our great nation,” Murray said. “It is therefore fitting that this Valentine’s Day, we focus on the love and commitment our veterans and their spouses have for one another.”
For Garden City resident and 18-year veteran Tom Deierlein, perseverance paid off after tragedy struck. Shot by a sniper’s bullet in September 2006 while serving the U.S. Army in Iraq, Tom’s life had indelibly changed forever. He was soon confined to a wheelchair and underwent intense rehabilitation at a VA center.
Committed to regaining his health, Tom was able to walk again and he soon met the love of his life, Mary Beth, who supported him through his recovery. “We tell everyone to go on eHarmony if they’re looking for someone special,” Tom said.
Married in 2009, the Deierleins and their two sons, Robert and Thomas, call the Village of Garden City their home and were elated to take part in the Valentine veterans event. “It was wonderful to be here with all the veterans and all the people who have served and sacrificed for our country,” Mary Beth said.“We were looking for something fun and different to do, and romantic, and this is just super special. And hearing the other love stories was really the best part of the whole thing,” Tom added.
Wedding reception guests were treated to cake and enjoyed a champagne toast, courtesy of Supervisor Murray. Sponsoring the event were Stop & Shop Supermarket, A Taste of Home Bakery of North Bellmore, Mormile Florist of Rockville Centre and the American Airpower Museum.
In an interview Garden City Life, Murray remarked that the event afforded the Town an opportunity to appreciate and give back to the many veterans living in Nassau County. A former Hempstead Town Clerk, Murray has married nearly 300 couples during her career and said it was an honor and delight to perform the ceremonies. “I loved every minute of it,” Murray said. “Every year, we try to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, usually at Town Hall. This year, we thought about veterans, giving back to them, we thought of this museum…You know what is so nice is that the back stories of every couple are as unique as the couples themselves,” she said.