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Embracing Local Heroes

Military personnel

recognized on

Veterans Day

Local residents paid tribute to local armed forces personnel on Monday with a series of events on Veterans Day.

The first event was a pre-ceremony “Meet the Veterans” for children and their parents sponsored by the Garden City Association of Girl Scouts and founder Kathie Wysocki. The Garden City Hotel generously offered its nightclub, Posh, for the occasion. Sergeant Nick Mascitti, Colonel Henry Wysocki and Master Sergeant James DuPont spoke about their experiences in the armed forces.

Mrs. Wysocki explained how it was important to understand about the lives of our country’s military. Additionally, they are the ones who receive all those Girl Scout cookies and other goodies the Scouts send overseas each holiday, with free DHL Shipping.

Master Sergeant DuPont explained how he joined the Reserves and was activated to go to Iraq for two tours. He spoke about how he helped displaced families, along with his military duties.

Sergeant Mascitti spoke about his stint in the newly-formed Green Berets of the Army during the 1960s under former President John F. Kennedy. This special force required members to have sniper experience, training in special weapons, medical knowledge, paratrooper experience and hand-to-hand combat. In his time off, Mascitti volunteered in the local orphanage where he took children to the beach, the doctor to get a check-up and bought them much-needed clothing and mosquito nets.

Colonel Wysocki remarked about a different aspect of the military with his experiences in the JAG- the Judge Advocate General Corps. He worked with legal assistance and contracts in Queens, New York, helping over 15,000 soldiers.

Lieutenant Ed Kenny added to the conversation from the audience. He explained how he fought with the famous General Patton during WWII.

The group enjoyed talking with the veterans and thanked them for their service.

The second event was the Veterans Day Ceremony, sponsored by the American Legion William Bradford Turner Post Number 265 and its Auxiliary. Veterans of all wars were honored and remembered through speeches by Commander Joseph P. Frey, Mayor John Watras, American Legion Auxiliary president Joan Nedelka and others. Post Chaplain Felix Iannacone offered a prayer. The playing of “Taps” ended the service at the Veterans Memorial Park on Seventh Street.

Events of the day concluded with a brief ceremony at the Rainbow Monument on Clinton Road and Commercial Avenue. Mayor Watras attended as the 42nd Rainbow Division wreath was placed. Commander Frey gave a speech and Cyril Smith said a few words on the history of Camp Mills and the Rainbow Division monument.