It was not standing on Central Avenue watching military veterans being feted or fire trucks driving by or the Lawrence High School marching band performing nor was it people standing by the soldier memorial in Andrew J. Parise Cedarhurst Park and waving American flags as the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed many of normal activities and events we take part in.
However, the Cedarhurst village virtual Memorial Day ceremony live on Zoom and Facebook placed a human face on the sentiment of the day. There was a brief drive-by of first-responder vehicles on Cedarhurst Avenue outside of Village Hall. Mayor Benjamin Weinstock noted the difference between typical parades and Monday’s ceremony. He said we are “mindful that the focus is the brave servicemen and women who served.”
Rabbi Kenneth Hain of Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence spoke on the need to, “Make sure we are maintaining and retaining American Democratic values, our religious services and our compassion and concern,” and “be united as the United States of America.”
Lawrence-Cedarhurst American Legion Post 339 Commander Syd Mandelbaum standing at Cedarhurst Park noted that more than 400,000 Americans died fighting World War II and that was “400,000 worlds that ceased to exist.” To honor them Mandelbaum said people should, “do good deeds in their memory every day.”
Cedarhurst Deputy Mayor Ari Brown read the names of the wars that Cedarhurst residents had fought in and played “Taps.”
Weinstock noted that 1.3 million Americans have died in all the wars the country has fought. To read all the names he said what take 55 days of around the clock speaking.
Longtime Trustee Myrna Zisman read the poem “It is the Veteran” and Deacon Dan Otton from St. Joseph’s R.C. Church in Hewlett closed out the ceremony.