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Residents safely gather in Merrick to thank those who served

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Merrick’s American Legion Post 1282 held its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11 at Veterans Memorial Park to salute those in the community who have answered the call to service.

Auxiliary Unit 1282, Boy Scout Troop 351, Veterans of Foreign War Posts 1310 and 1910, Jewish War Veterans Post 652, residents and local officials joined Post members in a socially distanced ceremony in front of the memorial on Merrick Avenue in North Merrick last Wednesday morning.

Past Post Commander and Chaplain Jim O’Neill greeted attendants with an invocation, which was followed by a playing of the National Anthem on a boom box and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by legionnaire Eugene St. John.

Post Commander Robert Dishman and Auxiliary President Laura Lahood addressed the crowd before the Eleventh Hour ritual, in which a bell was rung 11 times. “Taps” was also played on the boom box as attendants stood in a silent salute to honor the fallen.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin and Councilman Christopher Carini, Nassau County Legislators Steve Rhoads and Tom McKevitt and State Sen. John Brooks also paid tribute to local community members who have served. “I commend the post for continuing with this important tradition to remember the fallen and to thank our local veterans,” Clavin said.

Compiled by Alyssa Seidman