Westbury receives former VFW post and will preserve as a museum

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The Village of Westbury will receive a VFW building from a local post to be preserved as a military museum.

Mayor Peter Cavallaro said the village plans to create the Westbury Memorial Military Museum at the building owned by VFW Post 945, at 403 Maple Ave. The post last month approved donating the building and its contents to the village.

The state attorney general's office must approve the donation, officials said.

"We want to ensure the maintenance and upkeep of 403 Maple Avenue as a community resource for our veterans and so that future generations of Westbury residents can learn about the rich history of military service by Westbury's men and women," Cavallaro said.

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Cavallaro said that he wanted to free aging vets from the burden of its upkeep and did not want to see the site closed and converted for commercial use.

The building houses a meeting room, war memorabilia, and a wooden, painted wall listing about 2,000 World War II veterans from the community. Originally kept outdoors, the wall was moved to Post 945 and is protected by Plexiglas.

"Many of them were disposed of during the war," Cavallaro said of those types of memorials. "That's something we definitely want to preserve."

Cavallaro said the village will seek input from community groups, such as the Westbury Historical Society and the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts, to brainstorm ideas for the building.

The post will continue as an organization for local veterans, Cavallaro said, noting the arrangement will help "take the obligation off of the dwindling number of vets that are active."

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