Memorial Day is one of those days that the VFW does a lot in a short time, because we have so many to honor in just one day. Members of the Post and the Auxiliary gather together on this day to pay our respects to those that gave so much.
VFW Post 2913 started it’s day off by going to the water to honor those lost at sea to not return. We started this honor due to the fact that one of the people our Post is named after BLEECKER LATTIN, was on a ship in Pearl Harbor that sank during the attacks, and his remains never recovered.
We than go to one of the 5 cemeteries around the village and pay a lasting respect to a fallen Soldier. This year we went to St. Francis Cemetery and paid our respects to JOHN KELLY, a World War I veteran.
We than return to our post to pay our respects to all those members that have been lost this year. Members like ED SACCO.
Finally we line up for the Parade followed by a service at the Veterans Park in front of the American Legion Post 269. The Parade is organized by the United Veterans of Patchogue consisting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Jayne-Lattin Post 2913, American Legion Patchogue Post 269 and American Veterans Post 111. This year the organizing organization was VFW Post 2913, led by Outgoing Commander GEORGE BARRETT, MC for the parade and event was Incoming Commander DAVE ROGERS.
After the parade the ceremonies continue at the Veterans Park, where JOHN GALLAER from EMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF PATCHOGUE gave the opening prayer. Followed by SOUTH OCEAN MIDDLE SCHOOL doing America the Beautiful. Incoming Commander DAVE ROGERS than gave the opening remarks about what MEMORIAL DAY’s start, where it was, and where it is now in the situation with the current wars, and those bringing the war home with them. Than the Commanders of the VFW (GEORGE BARRETT) American Legion (JON RALPH) and AMVETS (JOHN PIORKOWSKI) spoke about their views of Memorial Day. The Key note speaker was Mayor PAUL V. PONTIERI, JR. who spoke about not only what Memorial Day means to him, but also to the rededication of the memorial statues and cannons for those that gave all for their country. The Mayor also welcomed honored guest to the event including Village Trustees JOESPH KEYS, SUSAN BRINKMAN, and LORI DEVLIN. Suffolk County Legislator ROB CALARCO said a few word about the importance of Memorial Day to him and the Village.
After the speeches the United Veterans of Patchogue layer the Wreaths at the Monument, which included VFW Post 2913, American Legion Post 269, AMVets Post 111, VFW Post 2913 AUX, American Legion Post 269 AUX, American Legion Post 269 Sons, AMVets Post 111 Sons, and the Sons of the Union.
This was followed by the Firing Detail and Taps from AMVets Post 111, and GEORGE EGAN of VFW Post 2913 raising the Flag.
After the usual ceremony this year we also re-dedicated the WWI Cannons, done by the American Legion Post 269 and Mayor PAUL V. PONTIERI, JR.. Followed by the Dedication of the 9-11 Tree which was done by Incoming Commander and 9-11 First Responder DAVE ROGERS. Included in the dedication of the 9-11 Pear Tree was the MALER FAMILY who lost ALFRED RUSSELL MALER during the attacks.
We than presented trophies to SOUTH OCEAN MIDDLE SCHOOL and SAXTON MIDDLE SCHOOL for their renditions of Patriotic Selections during the Parade and at the Ceremony,
The ceremony was closed with a Patriotic Selection from SAXTON MIDDLE SCHOOL, and the closing prayer from JOHN GALLAER from EMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF PATCHOGUE.
The VFW than joined the American Legion for refreshments at the American Legion Post.