It is estimated that about 680 veterans of World War II die each day and 192 of those who fought in Vietnam. These statistics have not been unnoticed in New Hyde Park, which has seen attendance drop at recent patriotic holiday events such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day, not only by those who served in the armed forces, but by civilians as well.
“It seems like the crowd is starting to dwindle,” New Hyde Park Mayor Daniel Petruccio said at the village hall during the November 20 meeting of the village board. “More importantly the honorees, the number of veterans that we have up on the dais – we used to have large numbers of family members speak about their family.”
This year’s Veterans Day ceremony was held on Sunday, November 11, with a scant few in attendance, though the members of Boy Scout Troop 298 and the New Hyde Park Girls Little League Majors softball team also attended.
The thinning crowds were also at the Memorial Day parade and trustee Lawrence Montreuil noted that he has seen less American flags displayed on homes around the village.
“I feel like some part of this is starting to get lost a little bit,” Petruccio continued, pondering ways of getting the public more involved. “I don’t know how to revive that because so many of the veterans of the Korean War and World War II are now in their eighties or older and then there seems to be a bit of a gap. Maybe the Sunday as a date was a little bit difficult.”