Malverne solemnly reflected on the service of military men and women on Nov. 11 in recognition of Veterans Day.
While Malverne’s Veterans Day observations are traditionally held at the gazebo in Chester A. Reese Veterans Memorial Park. However, as the day was rainy and overcast, attendees gathered at Malverne Village Hall.
With its withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan in Aug. 2021, the United States does not officially have ground troops committed to any major military conflict. As such, the day’s speakers’ focus rested less on men and women deployed overseas.
While the speakers offered their deep thanks for the veterans present and the honored dead, Malverne’s 2022 ceremony had a heavy focus on what the United States can do to help its veterans at home.
Pat Alesia, a retired Brigadier General and the commander of Malverne American Legion Post 44, acted as master of ceremonies for the event.
“To all veterans here today, I sincerely thank you for your service and your sacrifice. I hare the pride you feel in being able to say ‘we have served in the greatest military in the world,” said Alesia.
“Remember, we are the land of the free because of the brave,” the legion commander said. “And collectively, we must strive to help all our veterans in their time of need.”
In his speech, Malverne’s Mayor Keith Corbett pointed towards legislation to assist veterans at the state and national level, and chastised politicians who would vote against such bills.
“Today, I’m not going to be as chipper or uplifting as I normally have been in my past speeches. I look out across the world and across this country and I see politics divided,” said the mayor.
“When veterans, who shed their blood across battlefields across this world, have to show up and protest in the capitol of the United States just to be reinstated for benefits that many of them have from burn pits from serving over seas, and they have to actually go there and fight for the very dignities that they’re entitled to, we’re losing something,” he said.
“You have politicians who come in here and they say words. The same men and women who would not enact that legislation, I see them show up at American Legions and VFWs across this country. They come in with a good joke and a good speech. They come in and they give you words. Then they go back to their political office and those actions you don’t see so much.”
Rev. Joseph Borelli, the chaplain of American Legion Post 44 echoed Corbett’s sentiment in his own short remarks.
“Lord, we also do pray for our government,” Borelli prayed. “And we pray, Lord, that the division will stop and there will be blessing poured out on our veterans, in recognition of their service to our country.”
Ceremonies concluded with a rendition of God Bless America by vocalist Kaylee Palmer.