Veterans, elected leaders, firefighters and Boy Scouts circled around a lectern at Veterans Memorial Park in North Merrick on Monday to salute America’s veterans. In a brief, but emotional ceremony, the crowd of about 50 marked Veterans Day on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Veterans Day was first celebrated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, as a way to remember the end of Word War I. (Hostilities in what was then the world’s largest armed conflict ceased on Nov. 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.) President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day. In 1953, the celebration was renamed Veterans Day to recognize the sacrifices of all members of U.S. armed forces.
Merrick American Legion Post 1282 Commander Kenneth Braun led Monday’s ceremony. Braun recognized Walter Ellensohn, the legion’s monument chairman, who maintains the veterans park, which is just north of Camp Avenue Elementary School, on the east side of Merrick Avenue. Braun also thanked Pat’s Farms of North Merrick for providing the flower arrangements that were laid around the park in honor of Veterans Day.
Jack Silverman of North Merrick, a 14-year-old student at Chaminade High School, played taps on the trumpet. And Nassau County Legislator David Denenberg was on hand to salute the veterans.