2016-06-08 / Features

American Legion Post 1836’s Memorial Day Ceremony

BY JIMMY LANZA, COMMANDER, AMERICAN LEGION POST 1836


At the American Legion Post 1836’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony were Assemblywoman Marge Markey, Councilman Costa Constantinides joining Post 1836 Commander Jimmy Lanza. At the American Legion Post 1836’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony were Assemblywoman Marge Markey, Councilman Costa Constantinides joining Post 1836 Commander Jimmy Lanza. American Legion Post 1836 conducted its annual Memorial Day Ceremony honoring our nation’s military personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice for our country. Post 1836 hangs red, white and blue floral wreaths in memory and honor of these great heroes every Memorial Day.

Assemblywoman Marge Markey and Councilman Costa Constantinides were Post 1836’s Guests of Honor at the ceremony and hung Post 1836’s Memorial Day wreath on the flag pole in Strippoli Triangle park on 31st Avenue and 54th Street. “Joseph Strippoli, who gave his life for our great country during the Vietnam War was a personal friend of mine while growing up. Joe grew up only a block from the park named after him.

I think it’s important to note that the 11377 zip code lost more men in combat in the Vietnam War than any other zip code in the country. Even now, in 2016, the borough of Queens has more military veterans than any other borough. Our Post, 1836, is composed of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.


Members of American Legion Post 1836 honored our nation’s military personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice for our country. Members of American Legion Post 1836 honored our nation’s military personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice for our country. Father Pat West of Corpus Christi Parish not only led those attending the ceremony in a prayer for our country and its fallen heroes, he was given credit for putting a word in with his Boss (The Guy Upstairs) to hold off the predicted rain. Nice job Father Pat!

The local Girl Scout Troops helped by handing out patriotic comic books (Post 1836 donates them to local schools) and small American flags to those who attended the ceremony. The girls presented the Post with a basket full of Girl Scout Cookies and then led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Our ceremony always consists of veterans marching, the “Star Spangled Banner” and the whole crowd singing “God Bless America” but to me, when these young girls lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance those that made the supreme sacrifice smile down from upstairs knowing their sacrifices were not in vain.

I would like to remind everyone that “freedom is truly not free,” and we still have men and women serving in our great country’s military, in harm’s way each and every day. So whenever you can, how about greeting them with, “thank you for your service.”

There used to be a saying that people often used when things were not going so good, “every day is not Christmas.” For family members, loved ones, friends, combat buddies and all who knew someone who made the supreme sacrifice every day is Memorial Day – a day to honor, a day to remember and a day to never forget the loss of a loved one who made the supreme sacrifice for our great country.

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