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Levittown Honors Fallen Veterans

Local Boy Scouts woke up at the crack of dawn on May 24 to help veterans flag the graves of the men and women who gave their lives fighting for our country, buried at the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale.

“Every grave there gets flagged... no exceptions,” said VFW Post Commander Andy Booth.

Booth said the Boy Scouts of America were extremely helpful, as they are each year, helping place minature American flag at the foot of each headstone. In addition, members of the American Legion Post #1711 in Levittown flag the graves of former members and WWII veterans buried in the cemetery along Wantagh Ave.

The following day a service was held to honor the many veterans on Long Island who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect home and country.

Veterans from far and wide gathered to attend the Memorial Day services at the cemetery. The event is always a solemn occasion, organized each year by members of the American Legion Post #1711 and VFW Post #9592 from both the Levittown and Island Trees communities.

On Memorial Day, people lined up along Wantagh Avenue to march in this year’s parade.

Parade Grand Marshall Arthur Tripp, a Vietnam War veteran and member of the American Legion #1711 in Levittown, led the march down Hempstead Turnpike this year.

“Thank you to all my veterans,” Tripp recently told The Levittown Tribune. “You are all my heroes.”

The American Legion Post #1711 has over 300 members, some of whom are still in active-duty.

To prepare for the one and three-quarter-mile parade, Levittown resident Henry To works with members of the Levittown and Island Trees school communities, athletic clubs, boy and girl scout organizations, the Levittown Chamber of Commerce, the Levittown Community Council, and many other civic organizations for months before the celebration to coordinate the annual Memorial Day parade.

“Everybody in town takes part,” Booth said, acknowledging that Henry To doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for all his hard work, arranging the festivities year-in and year-out.  

As the parade continued down towards Veterans Memorial Park on Shelter Lane, people filled the roadside to wave them on.

For To, this year marked the fifteenth Memorial Day parade organized without the support of a parade committee.

“There was a tremendous turnout for the parade this year,” To said. “Out of all the Memorial Day parades on Long Island, this one is humongous.”

A week later some of the veterans returned to the Long Island National Cemetery to remove the flags.

“It’s sad,” Booth said. “We usually don’t have as many people to help de-flag the graves.”

Each year, the local veterans reach out to members of the public to assist in both the placement and retrieval of the American flags. For anyone interested in helping flag or de-flag the graves next year, contact the Long Island National Cemetery at 631-454-4949.

News

More than 475 runners from all across Long Island, came together on Aug. 30, for the tenth annual Companions in Courage one-mile run.

 

For Andrea Kopatka, 49, of Levittown, this was her first race in three years. 

 

“I wanted to run this race before I turned 50,” she said. “It was on my bucket list.” 

Over the summer, 13-year-old Zachary Martin of Levittown was named an All-American athlete for his performance on the gridiron, earning him an invitation to the ninth annual Offense-Defense Youth All-American Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

 

Martin, a defensive lineman for the Wisdom Lane Middle School Wildcats, said he was selected among a group of young athletes after attending a rigorous five-day football camp at LIU Post.  


Sports

The National Brain Tumor Society hosts its Long Island Brain Tumor Walk on Saturday, Sept. 20 at Jones Beach State Park, 1000 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. Registration is from 8 to 9 a.m. Programs and activities run from 8 a.m. to noon.

Michelle Duffy of Levittown was recently named head coach for the Blue Angels’ cross country program at the College of New Rochelle. 

 

“We are very pleased to have a coach with Michelle’s pedigree take the reins of our cross country program,” said Athletics Director Harold Crocker. “Her success athletically and academically, as well as her ability to mentor and guide young women, makes her the ideal coach for the Blue Angels.”


Calendar

Levittown Board of Ed - September 10

Patriot Day - September 11

Annual Country Fair  - September 13


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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