PHOTO: Stars and Stripes forever at Coleman Square in Howard Beach. Forum Photo by Patricia Adams
By Michael V. Cusenza
It’s one of those grand traditions of the World’s Borough. Memorial Day. Respecting and revering its true meaning every year.
We—the neighborhoods that make Queens what it is—do this through solemn ceremonies to quietly reflect on the service of the soldiers that have made the Ultimate Sacrifice, and the families they left behind; and the pomp and circumstance of parades – celebrations of lives cut way too short, and the grateful communities from which these heroes emerged.
“Today we honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to fight for our own independence, from those who freed the world from the scourge of fascism, to those protecting us from 21st Century terrorism,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all who have served our country and all those serving us now. They have exhibited the utmost courage, fortitude and resilience in protecting this nation and the world – which is why every veteran should have a home, a good job and high-quality mental health services when they return home. As a City, we have committed to delivering these essentials resources that veterans deserve. We also are very proud that for the first time in New York City history we have created a Department of Veteran Services, so we can honor our veterans better than ever before. We continue the mission to serve and honor the heroes of today, because that’s our way to honor the memories of the heroes who made all our lives possible. Thank you and God bless.”