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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

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy recently nominated 19 students from the Fourth Congressional District to the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Kevin Seery of Wantagh has earned one of the nominations to the United States Military Academy from McCarthy. Seery is presently attending Norwich University. 

It’s been a long time since Nicole Shaw and Chris McCabe first met—years, in fact—but after taking a chance on each other, the couple realized that they were meant to be with

McCabe recently proposing to Shaw at Old Westbury Gardens’ annual Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns after six years of dating. 

 

McCabe, now an NYPD officer, and Shaw, who works for Mill Neck Services for Deaf Adults, met in middle school and developed their friendship through high school, said Shaw. 


Sports

Dowling College’s Mike Groenthal, of Levittown, was recently named as Honorable Mention All-Conference selections from the East Coast Conference (ECC) in men’s soccer, as a forward. Groenthal is a junior at Downling. He is a graduate of Island Trees High School. 

 

The ECC was formed in 1989 to enhance intercollegiate athletic competition among member institutions and to assist them in integrating athletics into their academic program in a fiscally sound way. 

John Kane, of Levittown (pictured), scored as the 10th finisher overall in the Greater Long Island Club’s 15th Annual Six-hour 16th Birthday Run, which was recently held at Sunken Meadow State Park. Kane logged a total of 38.22 miles over the six hours, to earn him the 10th slot out of 140 participants.


Calendar

Advent Craft Market - November 29

Rick Bailey Memorial Turkey Bowl - November 29

St. Nicholas Craft - December 5


Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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