Nassau politicians and U.S. Postal Service officials unveiled a Veterans Wall on Flag Day Friday at the Western Nassau Processing and Distribution postal center in Garden City, to honor the facility's military veteran employees.
"You have not only served your nation as a member of our armed forces, but you continued your service by working for the United States Postal Service," Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano told an audience inside the center that included nearly 100 employees who are veterans.
"You are all a part of an elite group of Americans who risked, and many of whom gave their lives in order to preserve the freedoms that we hold so dear . . . that make the United States of America the best nation in the world," Mangano said. "This memorial serves as a tribute to all of you."
County Comptroller George Maragos, County Clerk Maureen O'Connell and county Legis. Dennis Dunne of Levittown, all Republicans, also attended. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a Mineola Democrat who announced recently that she will undergo treatment for lung cancer, sent a representative.
The wall, which is inside the facility and not visible to the public, has two large American flags hanging from it and the names of the active duty services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
There was a Marine color guard, and Nassau County Police Lt. Gus Kalin, a bugler, closed the afternoon ceremony with a moving rendition of "Taps."
In an invocation, Rabbi Anchelle Perl said: "Today we celebrate one of the first symbols of this great country, the American flag, [which was] commissioned by the first congressional Flag Act in 1777."
Perl, director of Chabad of Mineola, said later that the ceremony reminded him of the allies freeing his father, Zaide Mosher, from Germany's Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945.
"The flag stands for something," he said.