Elmont officials and residents gathered at Sewanhaka High School to commemorate Memorial Day with the Elmont American Legion Post 1033 on May 28. Elmont Legion Riders and Nassau County Police escorted more than 200 people as they marched down Hempstead Turnpike toward the Elmont Memorial Library. Bill Stegman, a veteran of the Persian and Gulf War and this year’s grand marshal, said he was honored to help lead the Memorial Day parade with his new brothers and sisters. Stegman moved into Elmont about two years ago.
“It’s a great family that I’ve found here, so I’ll be sticking around,” he said.
As Stegman spoke to his fellow Elmont residents, he wanted them to remember what Memorial Day was really about: the brave soldiers and close friends who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Steve McManus, the former commander of Post 1033 and current commander of the Nassau County American Legion, emphasized that sentiment and said the holiday honors the fallen and their families. McManus recalled how a young Elmont Girl Scout understood the meaning of Memorial Day better than anyone from the Office of Veteran Affairs in Washington, D.C.
“We don’t really want to hear ‘Happy Memorial Day,’” McManus explained. “This is a day for those who raised their hands to join, who fought and who did not return but will not be forgotten. You don’t have to wish us a happy day. You can just offer us a prayer and keep us in you mind.”