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Letter: Ultimate Service to One’s Country Should Be Honored

(Editor’s note: This letter was sent to Matthew Falcone, commander, American Legion, Manhasset Post 304, and to the Manhasset Press for publication.)

On Sept. 4, 2011, I responded to your earlier letter regarding two names missing from the Manhasset Gold Star Monument/Memorial – Lt. Commander Mossman and Captain Edward Miles. This matter had arisen when I discovered that the list of Manhassetites published in the Manhasset Press on Memorial Day 2011 was incomplete.

In my September letter, I included information from the Department of Defense records on both men. Harry’s status was changed from MIA to KIA in 2004, after his remains were repatriated from Vietnam. Ed Miles’ status was changed in 2010, after the Department of Defense declared that his death in 2004 was the direct result of injuries sustained in Vietnam. Granted, the latter is a highly unusual set of circumstances; however, while his death took longer than most, it still should receive the same respect and honor as all the others. That’s what the Department of Defense says, and that is what I say.

I have heard from another MHS graduate (Mike Duffy) this week that said that Harry Mossman’s name will be included on a new “Patriots Park Memorial” near the old Lord & Taylor store. However, it sounds like your Post has unilaterally determined that Ed Miles’ name doesn’t qualify. This is most unfortunate. There can be no rational reason for this position other than a bunch of grumpy old men – sitting around a dingy, stale American Legion post (that are becoming extinct), deciding that they, not the Department of Defense, set the rules as to who will be honored for making the ultimate sacrifice. And, this same group of old men will puff out their chests, put a funny looking cover on their heads and march down Plandome Road each Memorial Day – as if they had made the same sacrifice. This is a travesty. You should be practicing inclusion versus exclusion. It costs you nothing.

Richard Lennon