2009-06-17 / Features

NY Anti-Crime Agency Holds Flag Day Ceremonies

 Standing before an honor guard consisting of four members of each branch of the United States Armed Services, the Rev. Father Anastasios Pourakis of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Cathedral, flanked by City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. (l.) and Antonio Meloni, head of the New York Anti-Crime Agency (r.), delivers the invocation at Flag Day ceremonies at the monument to veterans of World War I and the adjoining Greater Love Than This Veteran's Memorial in Astoria Park on June 14.

Photo Vinny DuPre

The New York Anti-Crime Agency led Flag Day ceremonies at the Greater Love Than This Veteran’s Memorial on Shore Boulevard in Astoria Park on Sunday, June 14. The Greater Love Memorial is situated immediately to the right of the monument to the veterans of World War I, which was erected in 1926. New York Anti-Crime, headed by Antonio Meloni, dedicated the new monument, consisting of a walkway leading to a 12-foot-square space lined with pavers bearing the names of local soldiers and in the center of which is a flagpole, in 2001 after 16 years of fundraising and planning. To date, nearly 200 pavers engraved with veterans’ names have been placed in the memorial. 
 
The Rev. Father Anastasios Pourakis of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Cathedral delivered the invocation before an honor guard consisting of a member of each of the four branches of the U.S. Armed Services: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Pavers were presented and Certificates of Honor bearing 25 veterans’ names were issued at the ceremony. Two pavers were placed, one for  Seaman Joseph Petralia, who served in the Navy in World War II, and the other for George Vallone, both members of the family of City Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. “It’s important that we remember those who sacrificed and enabled us to be here at this beautiful ceremony in the greatest city in the world,” Vallone said at the ceremony. “It’s also especially important to remember the people who are keeping us safe today, from the NYPD to those fighting overseas.”
 
 “It’s great to honor those who risked everything, just so we can all enjoy Astoria Park, our communities and country,” former City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone Sr., who with other family members also attended the ceremony, added.
 

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