Honoring the community’s finest, Malverne American Legion Post 44 held its annual Law & Order Night on Feb. 27. Families and local elected leaders gathered at Legion Hall as Post 44 recognized people who keep the village safe.
“True Americanism is an ideology that is truly nurtured in one’s soul with individual daily actions, thoughts and beliefs,” said Ed Howard, the event chairman. “Post 44 takes pleasure in honoring our personnel for their dedication and service to Malverne. We hold this ceremony every year to show them that we care, and we appreciate what they do.”
Among the honorees were members of the Malverne’s Police Department, Police Reserves, Fire Department, Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Boy Scouts and Neighborhood Watch. Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said that celebrating their achievements means more when there are tragedies close to home like the Long Island Rail Road crash in Westbury on Feb. 26, in which three people were killed.
“When you hear about events like this, you know the sacrifice that men and women in our law enforcement, our fire department and in our ambulance corps make to protect us,” Gillen said.
County Legislator William Gaylor, who served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years as a lieutenant colonel, said that Post 44’s efforts to honor community heroes have paid off.
“We’re here to recognize all the folks who served, did their duty, answered the call, and we’re very thankful,” Gaylor said. “It’s great to be an American, but it’s even more special that we’re all here celebrating some great individuals.”
Part of what makes the event special is that the American Legion annually brings together members from the past and present, according to Ladies Auxiliary President Carol Hassett. She also said that they all work together to make contributions to Post 44.
“All of them take the time out of their day . . . and we all try and help to support in any way we can,” Hassett said.
Boy Scouts John Harkin, from Troop 24 in Malverne, and Trac Lan-Tian Colena and John Biegler, of Troop 109 in Valley Stream, were recognized for taking part in the American Legion Boys State summer program, in which students participate in activities that teach them about local, county and state government.
“The Scouts that you see here exemplify what being a Scout is all about,” said John Retagliatta, Troop 24 scoutmaster. “They represent hard work, dedication, giving back to the community. They should really be commended for that.”