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New Hyde Park Holds 90th Veterans Day Ceremony

New Hyde Park VFW Commander emphasizes remembrance for “true heroes.”

A teary remembrance was held for Veterans Day Sunday morning at the New Hyde Park Village Hall. Veterans from across a multitude of wars and civilians from every generation in attendance showed their respect during the village’s 90th Annual Veterans Day ceremony.

During the ceremony a full color guard placed a wreath on Memorial Rock. Angela Powers then lead the National Anthem causing some vets to be overcome with emotion.

The names of the deceased VFW and American Legion members were read by Edward Smolenski, a former Naval officer who has attended the service since 1943, with 2012 marking his eighth as commander of the New Hyde Park VFW.

In his speech, Smolenski emphasized remembrance for what he called “true heroes,” those in the country’s armed forces.

“Because we love America,” Smolenski said in regard to the importance of the ceremony, which was held at 11 a.m. across the country to coincide with Armistice Day and the signing of the peace accord that ended World War I.

Every veteran present was eager to introduce another, emphasizing the selflessness a day of remembrance is built upon.

Paul Dinatale of the American Legion read the story of Frank Fangmann, who during the battle of Coral Sea, became trapped in the engine room of the USS Lexington.

Dinatale noted Fangmann “cut himself out of the engine room only to realize there were another 14 decks above him” and led himself and six others to safety cutting through each one with a blowtorch. Present was Fangmann’s son, Frank Fangmann Jr., who had on display his father’s commendations, ship photos and maps of the battle.

Also honored were the members of the Little League girls softball team who travelled to the 2012 Little League Softball World Series this past summer.

Boy Scout Committee Member and Army Reservist Colonel Rainer Burger, a veteran of Desert Storm, emphasized the importance of the troop being there, in order “to support and honor those who serve, it’s selfless and gives back to the community.”

After the ceremony refreshments were served by volunteers Lily Turula, Maureen Kenny, and Lisa Trevlied. VFW Adjutant Bill Hothaw organized the volunteers.

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