The East Rockaway American Legion, in conjunction with the Robert F. Garrison VFW Post, held their annual Veteran’s Day ceremony on Sunday, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — as all veteran organizations do around the country.
“On this day,” said American Legion Commander Shelly Conn, “we stand humbled before all, and thank the veterans for all the service they have given us. I salute you for your service, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Conn, who could not find a bugle player in time for the ceremony, ingeniously played a recording of Taps into the microphone from his iPhone. He also commended the East Rockaway Fire Department and its chief, Steve Torborg, for the tireless work that they did in the last two weeks during and after the storm. “They really deserve a round of applause.”
VFW Commander Joe McCarthy reminded the crowd that “this community needs Americanism. There are a lot of things that are not right … and we will change that, as God made jelly apples!” He also thanked those who attended.
American Legion chaplain David Goodman said a prayer, and in closing shared the story of his friend Mo Fletcher of Island Park, who died recently.
“Mo was staying with me since his house flooded,” Goodman said. He said that Fletcher cam “He went back home to get some things, and I didn’t hear from him … I found out from his son that he died of a heart attack in front of his house just 20 minutes after I dropped him off. I think he was the first veteran casualty of this storm. He was my friend, and I miss him every day.” Fletcher was 64 years old.