The Village of Lynbrook has a new sign that reads, “Lynbrook Honors Our Troops” at the east and west entrances to the village on Sunrise Highway.
With the death of the 13 servicemen and women on Aug. 26 in Kabul, Afghanistan, a member of the Lynbrook Fire Department suggested that purple and black bunting, usually put on firehouses when a member dies, be added to those signs to acknowledge the 13 killed in action. Another firefighter then suggested that 13 American flags should also surround the signs.
The two suggestions were brought to Fire Chief John Donald, a former U.S. Marine, who quickly gave his approval.
The signs were also a product of community collaboration. Lynbrook Resident Mike Davies was talking with Beach several months ago after returning from an out of state wedding when he mentioned seeing a similar sign on Interstate-95 when entering Maine.
“I thought it was a great way to show support for our servicemen and women, while at the same time making a very outward gesture to express our appreciation when they return home," Davies said.
Beach said he liked the idea because it built upon existing programs the village enacted that supported vets, such as the Veterans Banner program, where residents can purchase a banner with a photo of their loved one who served in the military. For the welcome sign, the mayor sought to take the idea to reality by meeting with members of the military community, including Lynbrook Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander Patrick Nealon, to design the sign, which contains the seal of each branch of the armed forces.
Beach, elected officials, veterans group and residents got together to unveil the sign.
“Lynbrook is patriotic community," Beach said. "We support our troops, our vet, and those that keep us safe. Considering what happened recently in Afghanistan where 13 servicemembers gave the ultimate sacrifice, we want Long Islanders to know we support them and will always be there for them.”
On Aug. 30, Lynbrook Fire Department’s Truck Company Capt. Brian Brown obtained the purple and black bunting from their firehouse, while the village’s Department of Public Works supplied 26 American flags to be put around the two signs. Brown and his son, Lucas, a 13, who attends North Middle School, hung the bunting and erected the flags on both of the signs on Sunrise Highway.
Later that morning, Beach and members of the village board gathered with members of local veterans groups at the sign on Sunrise Highway and Ocean Avenue to show the Village of Lynbrook’s support for U.S. troops while also remembering and honoring the 13 who died.