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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

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
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