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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

Dressed in their Sunday best, churchgoers came to the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown to take part in the biggest celebrated Sunday in the Christian year.

 

A special holiday calls for a special service, which was led by Reverend Terri Yvette Cissé-Ofori. There were flowers decorating the inside of the church as well as musicians playing their instruments throughout the service.

 

“Today is Resurrection Sunday,” said Cissé-Ofori. “Normally people call it Easter, but we celebrate the rising of Christ. We believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and he’s still alive.”

 

While Island Trees School District officials plan to reexamine a proposal to develop senior housing on 11.3 acres of property currently used to house the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow schools, district officials have so far been unwilling to identify the developer. 

 

The plan to sell the Farmedge property was first conceived in 2010, when BOCES dropped its lease on the Gallow school. The school district issued a request for proposals. After reviewing its options, the Island Trees Board of Education selected and presented to the

public a proposal to develop 160 to 247 housing units for seniors over 55.After public outcry against the project, the district said it would go back to the drawing board, re-opening discussions and engaging a wide range of stakeholders. However, despite requests from the public and the press, the district has steadfastly declined to identify the developer of the initial proposal—which may yet end up being the winning bid. 


Sports

The Farmingdale State College baseball team earned an 8-2 victory over the College of Staten Island in a recent non-conference home game.

 

In the bottom of the second, left fielder Richard Sullivan of Farmingdale broke broke the scoreless tie on a two out RBI single. Senior third baseman Sal Sanquini of Levittown would go on to hit an RBI single through the left side to increase the lead 2-0. Sanquini was 2-for-4 at the plate with a game-high of 3 RBIs.

The Island Trees varsity softball team had an amazing 8-3 win in extra innings on April 2nd against a previously unbeaten Clarke team to improve their league record to 2-0.  Ashley Melendez opened up the scoring with a solo homerun to lead off the 4th inning. 

 

Although the team relinquished the lead in the 4th and 5thinnings, they did not let the negative turn of events get the best of them.   Down one with three outs left, Sam Scharff led off the top of the 7th with an amazing bunt for a hit.  Christie Ciaramitaro and Kelly Cembrale both reached on errors to keep the inning and team’s hopes alive.  Morgan Petry roped an RBI single up the middle to score courtesy runner, Kim Ahrens with the tying run.   


Calendar

Bellmore FD Fundraiser - April 25

Earth Day Cleanup - April 26

Bowling For Scholars - April 26


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