On Monday, May 26, members of the Floral Park community joined with members of Floral Park American Legion Post 334 and its auxiliary to observe Memorial Day. The ceremony began with a parade, stepping off from the post on Elizabeth St., proceeding to Memorial Park for a formal ceremony.
Army Captain James Van Thach of Bellerose was this year’s parade grand marshal and guest speaker. He is the first Vietnamese-American to become an advisor to the New Iraqi Army. Thach was awarded the honorary title of Brigadier General by the Iraqi government and tasked with spearheading a $6.8 million project building a forward-operations base in Iraq.
Thach was wounded twice in the line of duty while serving in Iraq, once in a improvised explosive device explosion and a second time during a rocket attack. He is a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient. As a result of his injuries, Thach was matched with his service dog, Liz, in 2012 at Canine Companions in Medford. Liz is his constant companion and joined Thach on the dais.
Floral Park’s Memorial Day Honor Roll includes:
World War I: Bryon Thurston; Mortimer Lyons; Harry Homeyer.
World War II: Richard Anderson; Joseph Auld; Walter Baxter, Jr.; Zygmunt Bramowski; Claude Burk; Stephen Cannone; John Childs II; J. Wesley Cook; Arvid Dahlstrom; Robert Damm; James Donnelly, Jr.; John Donoghue; Frank Fischer, Jr.; Robert Flack; Richard Fletcher; Joseph Funk; Edward Gehrke; Eugene Gladd; Mitchell Gottman; Albert Gourdon; Paul Gourdon; Paul Hayward; Joseph Hubbard; Peter Jacobchek; John Jankowski; Stanley Jankowski; Robert Kime; Robert Klahn; John Kney, Jr.; Walter Korrow; Gerard Krug; Anthony Kcigzck; Arthur Mallette; Warren McNeill; Joseph Notary; Charles Hilbrook Olsen; Charles Peck; Walter Pfeffer; Joseph Randazzo; Donald Regan; George Rucker; Edwin Schuler; Robert Sica; Robert Silberman; George Steinheiser, Jr.; Myron Stillman; Joseph Strube; William Te-Gussinklo; John Trenka; August Venezia; John Wallace; Leroy Williams; Harold Winges; Alwynne Wood; James Ziegon.
Korean War: Austin Beetle, Jr.; Robert Howe; William Jordan; Edward Rock; Thomas Maher.
Vietnam War: Michael Alberici; Edward Beasley; Arthur Kearney; M. Peter Roche; John Stahl; Charles Vion.
The Memorial Day ceremonies included a posting of the colors, a recognition of Prisoners of War, and musical tributes by the Floral Park Memorial High School band. Gold Star families were acknowledged and prayers were delivered by the local ministers. (Photos by Christy Hinko)