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The Manhasset Bay Fleet has had a proper start into the new century. On a glorious June morning, the 3rd, members of the clergy blessed an estimated 450 men, women, and children, and one Dalmation, passing the Town Dock on 87 craft. Prayers were offered for the safety of watercraft and all embarked now and in days to come. The clegy also looked back and asked special remembrance for all the members of our Armed Forces who have given their lives in our country's wars. From the Revolution through Vietnam, deaths from battle, accident, and disease have totaled an estimated 1,290,000.

Ready to place the memorial wreath on the waters as the trumpeters sound Taps -- flower girls Phoebe Walsh (left) and Isobel Barry. Photo by René Reeves.

Giving the prayers at this 51st ceremony: Msgr. Walter E. Simmons, St. Peter of Alcantara Church, Port Washington (15th time); The Rev. W. Kurt von Roeschlaub, St. Stephen's Church, chaplain of the Manhasset Bay Sportsmen's Club, (22nd time); The Rev. Allan Ramirez, Brookville Reformed Church and chaplain, Nassau County Police Department; The Rev. Christopher T. Connell, All Saints Church, Great Neck; and Chaplain Thomas Tobin, Port Washington Fire Department. Town Supervisor May Newburger read a prayer for the blessing written by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin, the Community Synagogue.

Also participating in the ceremony: Color Guard of United States Marine Corps League, Color Guard of Troop 241, Boy Scouts of America, trumpeters, flower girls, the Town of North Hempstead Bay Constables and other staff, a unit of the Marine/Aviation Bureau, Nassau County Police Department, US Coast Guard Cutter 502001 from Fort Totten -- and the members of the Manhasset Bay Sportsmen's Club, founders and maintainers of this traditional ceremony in our bay.


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