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Honoring Five Towns Veterans


Despite the coronavirus pandemic still looming large in the United States, Lawrence-Cedarhurst American Legion Post 339 commander Syd Mandelbaum said it remains essential to honor veterans this year.

Mandelbaum confirmed that a Veterans Day ceremony will take place at Andrew J. Parise Park in Cedarhurst on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. He noted that this year is important because it marks the three-quarters of a century since the end of World War II. 

“This is a very special year for all veterans organizations with the 75th anniversary of winning the war against Nazism,” Mandelbaum said. “With my parents being Holocaust survivors, I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for D-Day.” The end of World War II was marked by Japan officially surrendering on Sept. 2, 1945.

Wearing masks and social distancing will be required. Mandelbaum said that the ceremony will take place inside Cedarhurst Village Hall if the weather is bad. 

Veterans Day is observed on Nov. 11 and honors veterans who have served in the United States armed forces. Originally Armistice Day it marked the end of World War I. The day, date and exact time of 11:11 a.m. marked the end of World War I in 1919. It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Pat Alesia is the commander for Nassau County American Legion. Alesia has worked with Mandelbaum and Post 339 particularly with the veterans farmers market that offers military veterans the opportunity to shop for goods in Mandelbaum’s backyard in Cedarhurst to avoid people at traditional stores amid the pandemic.

Alesia noted that there were plans for an in-car ceremony with American Legion posts from across the county and other veteran organizations such as Veterans of Foreign Wars. It was scheduled for Nov. 7 and it has since been cancelled. 

“Many World War II veterans were going to show up and it was going to start in Lynbrook and end in Valley Stream,” Alesia said. “Unfortunately it has been cancelled due to the rise in Covid cases.” Alesia added that he is planning a smaller ceremony for the same day at the World War I “Rainbow Division” monument in Garden City.

Mandelbaum added that he is disappointed that the American Legion county ceremony was canceled, but is still looking forward to the Post 339 ceremony in Cedarhurst. “We know how easy it is to forget about veterans,” he said. “But we must never forget the sacrifices they made.”