Heroes to remember heroes in Merrick


On Memorial Day, May 29, members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Jewish War Veterans will march through the streets in honor of all their comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice.

This year’s annual Memorial Day parade’s Grand Marshal will be Paul Zydor, who has served as Commander of the VFW Merrick/Freeport Post 1310 for more than 40 years, and was recognized in 2015 as the Town of Hempstead’s Veteran of the Year for his dedication to the veterans community.

“Paul Zydor is a true example of what it means to be an American,” said Richard Ambrosino, a volunteer with Merrick American Legion Post No. 1282.

Zydor was born and raised in Freeport. In 1947, he joined the United States Navy where he was deployed many times during his active duty service, serving during the Korean War, and was deployed on the USS Grampus Submarine SS-523 and the USS Yellowstone AD-27.

While in the Navy, Zydor received many decorations and service medals. As a submariner aboard the USS Grampus, Zydor was on-board the fastest submarine in the U.S. Navy Fleet. According to Ambrosino, Zydor was always first to volunteer for difficult and dangerous assignments. He was one of the only Navy personnel at the time who volunteered to test the “100 foot free escape” under water. The training simulated how a submariner would escape from a disabled submarine, however, in this case, without a supporting re-breathing apparatus. Zydor was placed in an airlock 100 feet underwater and once the airlock was filled up with water he had to surface from the lock to the surface. He succeeded in doing the exercise two times.

In 1954, Zydor was honorably discharged from military service and returned home to Merrick. In 1956, he met his future wife Marguerite whom he has been married to for 61 years. The couple has four children whom were all raised in Merrick and number of grandchildren. In 1957, Zydor joined the New York City Fire Department where he was assigned to Ladder 10 and later assigned in 1960 to the prestigious FDNY Rescue Co. 2.

In 1972, he joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW advocates for all veterans, encourages cameraderie, serves the community and promotes patriotism.

Zydor also currently sits on the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency Advisory Board, Congresswomen Kathleen Rice’s Veterans Advisory Board and the Freeport Village Veterans Advisory Council. He has dedicated his life to public service and will continue to do so for years to come, said Ambrosino.

Also in honor of Memorial Day, The Camp Avenue Barber Shop at 22 Camp Avenue is giving a $2 discount on a haircut from until May 28 to all veterans when they present a County Veterans ID Card or a current membership card from a recognized Veterans Organization.

Monday’s parade will start at 9:30 a.m. at Broadcast Plaza and conclude, with a ceremony at Merrick’s Veterans Memorial Park at 10:45.