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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

A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.

 

All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.

 

Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.

 

Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.

 

In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.

 

“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”

 

With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.

Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.

 

The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.

 

The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “

 

At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.

 

Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.

 

Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.

 

The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.

 

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. 

 

The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year. 


Sports

Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.

 

In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs. 

Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.

 

Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games. 


Calendar

Lazy Days Of Summer - July 26

Flea Market - July 27

Darlene Prince and the Bragg Hollow Band - July 28


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