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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

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”

A little bit of Hollywood has come to Plainview. The Loft Sound Studio, a Plainview-based vocal and performance training facility, is the creation of lifelong music artist Donnie Klang

and Matthew LaPorte. The duo says that they draw upon their personal experience of the ups and downs of the recording industry to give kids today the chance to be superstars.

 

“Essentially, we’re looking for the next Justin Bieber, someone we can train and teach them how to really become an artist, put them on YouTube and hope they really blow up,” said

LaPorte. “If they do, through our connections that we made while we were in the music industry the past 15 years, we would try and get them a record deal.”

 

The Loft Studio, located at 1530 Old Country Road, already has a list of achievements, including protégé Madison Beer, who got attention after Justin Bieber tweeted a link to a video of her singing. She is currently signed to a record deal on Bieber’s label in Los Angles.


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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