Due to the COVID-19 shutdown of certain activities, there were no Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade. As such there was no interfaith prayer service, ceremonies, veteran breakfast, essay contest and any of the other activities connected with Memorial Day. But American Legion Post 103 of Douglaston, N.Y., and the Little Neck Douglaston Parade Association stepped up to the plate and has shown we have not forgotten those who gave their lives for freedom. I attended the ceremony as a member of American Legion Post 103, which was held at the Divine Wisdom Academy on Northern Blvd, in Douglaston on Memorial Day on May 24 at 10 a.m. at the flagpole and veteran monument. The ceremony was started with a prayer by Michael Proto, our post chaplain, and that was followed by the pledge to our country and a speech by Commander Sebastian D'Agostino, who spoke of those who died serving our country and those who died of COVID-19. He then went further and praised our first responders like doctors, nurses, EMS workers, firefighters and police officers. He also asked for prayers for our brave men and women serving in the military. We than had a few words by our New York State Senator, John Liu, who honored us with his kind words about our veterans past and present who have defended our nation. We then had the laying of wreaths and the half-masted American flag raised by St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus officer Giuseppe Petruso as we saluted the flag. We than had our bugler Thomas Dinegar sounding Taps. I would like to point out that we had only 10 people, who were social distancing and wearing masks. Finally, those who had attended this event had not forgotten those who gave the final act of devotion and loyalty to protect those freedoms we all hold most dear. God bless America!
By Frederick R. Bedell Jr.