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Honoring veterans through banners around town


Locals may see many the faces of their neighbors as they take a stroll through downtown Glen Head and Glenwood Landing, but as Memorial Day approaches, they will learn who their local veterans are.

American Legion Post 336 in Glen Head and the Glen Head – Glenwood Landing Civic Association, along with other local civic groups, have partnered together to honor veterans in their community.

The partnership originally came last year as parades, ceremonies and other tributes were limited on Memorial Day because of the pandemic shut downs. Forty-five banners with the photos, names and branches of local veterans or those who lost their lives during war, next to a banner flag, were attached to light poles throughout Glen Head and Glenwood Landing.

Members of the local American Legion sent out applications to the community last year in search of nominations of people who have served to be included in the project, said post Commander Robert Bazan, a retired U.S. Navy Captain from Glenwood Landing.

“My son and I are together on two poles,” Carter Haff, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1959 to 1963, said. His son, Christopher, served in the U.S. Navy from 1992 to ’96. “I think it’s terrific. A lot of these folks are quiet people and they don’t want to be recognized, necessarily, but it’s a nice thing to do, just to let the community know that there’s a bunch of people in the community that have served in the Armed Forces.”

The banners were taken down last year before the winter came to preserve them. And with Memorial Day approaching, they were posted throughout the town once again.

“It’s really successful,” said George Pombar, the president of the Glen Head – Glenwood Landing Civic Council. “We have World War II [veterans] to more recent people in the Armed Forces. We have 45 local heroes up there now.”

Angelo Grande, a past commander of the local American Legion and the Nassau County American Legion, said his picture is displayed across the street from Glen Head Hardware, a store he frequents. He added that it’s nice to see him, and fellow veterans, get recognition at a local level.

“I think it was a great idea because I think it brought to light what we do and our past service commitment,” Grande said. “It’s good for the community to know that we have people living here who served our nation and were able to provide for their protection during the different wars.”

And the local community will have the opportunity to honor veterans, active soldiers and those who lost their lives serving this Memorial Day as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

An application for a parade has been approved by the Town of Oyster Bay, Bazan said. It will begin on Glenwood Road at 9 a.m. and will end with a ceremony at the post, 190 Glen Head Road in Glen Head.

“Obviously the community are all invited to attend,” Bazan said. “It will be outside and everyone will be social distancing and using masks.”