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AAM Holds Blessing Of The Roses Ceremony

Five Pearl Harbor survivors in attendance

This year marked the 71st anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The American Airpower Museum in East Farmingdale presented its annual Dropping of the Roses ceremony on Friday, Dec. 7, honoring five Pearl Harbor survivors present for the ceremonial blessing of the roses. Hundreds attended to pay honor and respect to those who perished and those who fought. 

This year, Richard Abeles, USS Dale; Gerard Barbosa, USS Raleigh; Bernard Berner, Schofield Barracks; Seymour Blutt, Hickam Field; and Michael Montelione, Schofield Barracks were the guests of honor. Remaining survivors on Long Island, like Frank Castronovo, of Elmont, were unable to attend, due to health issues. 

Hundreds of guests, fellow veterans, students, museum patrons and local officials gathered for the survivors’ recognition and rose blessing ceremony. A special memorial and bell ringing was also conducted for the late-veterans William Halleran, Bill Birnbach, Ned Johnson, and Moe Fletcher before the sounding of taps. 

Honor Guard was performed by retired USMC Sergeant Paul Masi, Navy Operations Support Center—Amityville, Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 82, Jyne/Latten VFW Post 2913, Plainview VFW Post 5942, and Wyandanch High School Army JROTC.

Following the national anthem by Joanna Fruhauf and Cindy Montalto, Captain Francis Bonadonna, Deputy Fleet Chaplain, U.S. Pacific Fleet gave a brief invocation. 

Seventy-one American Beauty roses were blessed and loaded onto the vintage Texan WWII aircraft, piloted by the Skytypers of New York. 

The plane departed for the Statue of Liberty and dropped the roses over the monument at 12:55 p.m., the exact local time of the historic attack on Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. 

The Dropping of the Roses and AAM’s Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremonies are traditions began in 1970 by the late Joseph Stanley Hydrusko to honor his fallen comrades. Hydrusko saved numerous lives at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 and was a candidate for the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

Continuing with tradition, the Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremony, presented with the Long Island Air Force Association (AFA), honors not only the Pearl Harbor veterans, but includes all veterans who served during past and present conflicts. During the memorial ceremony, the Massapequa High School Band, conducted by Mark Stempel and Andrew Dwork, performed military music. 

 

 

 

 

 


News

A group of Levittown parents are voicing their concerns with letting their children walk to school, since it would mean they would continue to cross Hempstead Turnpike.

 

“My kid has to cross [Hempstead Tpke.] daily without a crossing guard,” said Division Avenue parent Wendy Lantigua. 

 

For Lantigua and others, the dangers of Hempstead Turnpike became all to real after 13-year-old Brianna Soplin was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, last June. Not to mention the fact that another 14-year-old Levittown student suffered multiple injuries after being struck in hit-and-run, last February. 

On Sept. 14, Hempstead town officials joined family and friends of fallen New York City paramedic Rudy Havelka, to unveil the re-dedication of Birch Lane in Levittown. 

While surviving the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Havelka wou ld later die of an illness related to his service at Ground Zero.


Sports

The annual One Love Long Island (OLLI) Yoga Festival takes place at the Sands Point Preserve on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All profits will be donated to organizations that support survivors of human trafficking, locally and globally. 

 

The festival will unite 16 Long Island yoga studio communities in a round robin of the traditional yogic practice of 108 Sun Salutations from 9:30 a.m. to noon, whose offerings will look to create long-term and sustainable solutions to eradicate the human trafficking epidemic by raising funds and awareness for the cause.  

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

 

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Calendar

IT Board of Ed - September 17

All Star Comedy - September 18

Irreversible Paul Lynde - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com