Photo Courtesy of Michael V. Cusenza and NYPD
Memorial Day procession grand marshals included Queens Supreme Court Judge (Ret.) Augustus Agate (third from l.)
By Michael V. Cusenza
The Howard Beach community punctuated its annual Memorial Day observance ritual with a stirring ceremony in Coleman Square in front of the monument to native soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country during conflicts around the world.
“From Lexington and Concord to Kandahar, young men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice for us,” Master of Ceremony Patrick Connolly, commander of the Veterans of Foreign WarsPost 2565, said on a humid, overcast Monday afternoon. “We can never, ever, ever, ever forget their sacrifice. We must tell our children and grandchildren about them.”
The day began at 9:30 a.m. with a Memorial Day Mass at Our Lady of Grace church. After, grateful observers visited war markers that dot the Old Howard Beach landscape, eventually returning to Coleman Square for the emotional commemoration.
“These 41 young men gave up all their tomorrows,” Connolly noted through tears, “so we could have today.”