Veterans Day in Malverne was celebrated on Saturday and Monday this year.
On Nov. 10, Malverne native Tim Sullivan hosted a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project at the American Legion Post 44 in Malverne, which brought together veterans of all ages and other community members.
Malverne Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald said Sullivan had been planning the celebration for about a year, and despite the fact that many residents were still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, turnout was good.
"It was a tremendous event," she said. "I want to thank Tim Sullivan for his time, effort and energy, and love of veterans who served this country."
Then, on Monday morning, village officials gathered with members of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the annual Veterans Day ceremony. This year, it was moved inside Village Hall because the usual location, Reese Park, still needed additional clean-up work as Sandy pulled down hundreds of trees and power lines throughout the community.
Bob Guarneri, commander of the American Legion Post 44 in Malverne, reminded everyone in attendance and those watching the ceremony at home on Malverne TV, that Veterans Day is about honoring all veterans, both living and dead. "It's largely intended to thank the living veterans for their dedication and loyal service to the United States, thereby ensuring freedom," he said, and encouraged everyone to express their gratitude to atleast one veteran.
Guarneri also requested a moment of silence for Marty Gibson and Andrew Renzullo, two veterans from Malverne, who passed away this year.
In her remarks, Mayor McDonald spoke of the end of World War II, "the war to end all wars," saying, "When the guns fell silent on the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month, President Woodrow Wilson was inspired to dream of a world free of war, governed by justice and the United States of America at peace with that world." But, she added, "Sadly, history continues to teach us a different, bitter lesson as the list of battles and conflicts continues to grow."
McDonald reminded residents off the importance of honoring veterans who have "served to protect and defend the United States" and those who are "defending other peoples' liberties and supporting an uneasy world peace."
Many of those soldiers who weren't killed in combat have returned home from combat with physical and mental scars, McDonald said, adding, "Our country and the world owes so much to these brave men and women."
She then read a speech given by Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, the U.S. Marine Corps' first Jewish chaplain, at the dedication ceremony of a Marine cemetery in Iwo Jima in March 1945. It ended like this:
"Thus do we memorialize those who, having ceased living with us, now live within us. Thus do we consecrate ourselves the living to carry on the struggle they began. Too much blood has gone into this soil for us to let it lie barren. Too much pain and heartache have fertilized the earth on which we stand. We here solemnly swear: this shall not be in vain! Out of this, and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come–we promise–the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere. Amen."