Village of Islandia officials and veterans dedicated a new U.S. Marine Corps medallion Saturday to replace one that was stolen off the village’s granite veterans monument in January.
Islandia Mayor Allan Dorman and Carmine Raineri, both of whom are Vietnam and Marine veterans, unveiled the medallion with the eagle, globe and anchor emblem of the Marines before the village’s Memorial Day ceremony.
“It was very key and important for when we had our Memorial Day observance event today that we had the veterans memorial itself intact and whole, back with all the medallions on the memorial,” Deputy Mayor Michael Zaleski said after the ceremony.
Dorman said in a statement that the memorial “is an important and sacred part of our community.”
The village has offered a $5,000 reward for the arrest and prosecution of whoever removed the red, white, gold and black medallion from the monument, which has been at Old Nichols Road and Johnson Avenue since 2008.
Raineri, 72, commandant of Marine Corps League Detachment #247 in Bay Shore, said the medallion’s theft was “a terrible thing. We’re Marines, and that’s our pride. For someone to do that, they have to be pretty low.”
Empire National Bank paid the nearly $2,000 cost of the new medallion, he said.
“The medallion is back on its spot where it should be,” Raineri said. “It’s just pride in being a Marine. It means a lot to us, that medallion. Hopefully it will stay there for a long time.”
Anyone with information on the theft of the original medallion should call Village Hall at 631-348-1133 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.