American Legion Post 303 Commander Joseph Scarola led the village’s Veterans Day commemoration on Sunday, Nov. 11, the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The ceremonies were attended by residents and local officials, with members of the Rockville Centre Police Department lining the side of the room. There was a color guard of Rockville Centre’s volunteer firefighters and American Legion members.
After an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Francis Murray spoke of the 26 million Americans who have served in the military. He thanked the veterans for their services, their dedication and their sacrifices.
“There are so many things in America that have changed since its beginning, but the one thing that stayed constant are the veterans who have kept us safe and protected this nation,” Murray said. “I thank them for their dedication for keeping us safe from terrorists abroad and unfortunately here in America. I also thank them for their extreme sacrifice, and the sacrifice made by their loved ones.”
Scarola said that the more than 300,000 service members should be in our thoughts and prayers.
“The Great War ended at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month,” Scarola said. “We do this so that we may honor all those that have sacrificed for our great nation, not only in that war, but in all wars that our veterans have served in. Let us ring the bell and remember the ending of the Great War. Let us remember all that have sacrificed for us. Let us remember all those that have served and are serving. Let us never forget.”
After the ringing of the bell at the eleventh hour, and a moment of silence, the audience sang “God Bless America.”
Hall of honor
Murray also attended New York State Assemblyman Brian Curran’s second annual Hall of Honor, recognizing Rockville Centre resident Paul Casazza’s service.
“As a United States Army Reservist, Paul Casazza served his country for 25 years,” Murray said. “Joining in 1984, he retired as a Lt. Colonel in 2009, but not before serving in Afghanistan. For his acts of bravery during his deployment, he was awarded the bronze star medal.”
Muray added that during his years as a reservist, Casazza received a Masters of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. Casazza has continued his commitment to his country as a member of the RVC American Legion Post 303, where he shares his time and experience helping veterans and those currently in the armed forces. Edith Brawley and George Irwin, Rockville Centre residents, received Assembly citations at the Hall of Honor ceremones in recognition of their service to the nation.