The laying of wreaths at Veterans Monuments is a symbolic tradition for the communities of Glen Cove. In addition to honoring fallen American soldiers on Memorial Day, the ceremony, held the day before, also honors all members of the city who served.
On Sunday, veterans, elected officials and community leaders gathered for 15 minutes at veterans’ monuments in Morgan Park, Glen Cove Public Library, Ford Street, Elm Ave and the Roman Catholic Church St. Rocco in dark remembrance of the sacrifice of the servicemen of the community. have done throughout history.
Anthony Jimenez, director of Glen Cove Veteran Affairs and member of the Memorial Day Parade committee, said the ceremony was meant to “pay respect” and honor our “war dead” ahead of the full day of Memorial events. Day.
“Not all of the monuments represent that, but they represent war and a lot of people who are there died as a result of conflict,” Jimenez said.
At each memorial, Fred Nielsen, chaplain of the Glen Cove Memorial Day Committee, recited a prayer to servicemen of Glen Cove who served in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War and the Korean War. The names on each monument reflect all of the military, whether nurses or soldiers who served.
“Because Glen Cove, as a 350-year-old town, has had such a vibrant history of pride in its veterans and served in every war in this nation’s history,” Nielsen said, “it is so logical that all of this community pride would be evident in these neighborhood landmarks.
As Chaplain Nielsen said, he has a responsibility to recognize the spiritual sacrifice of the nation’s military, who took the risk to face danger and help others see it as well.
“As we pause to think of those who have died in battle,” Nielsen said, “it is a profound [and] a very, very important spiritual moment. So we recognize that by the presence and the prayers at the monument.
Many of the names of these neighborhood veteran monuments, Nielsen said, were not only deceased members of the community, but also military personnel who returned home.
“These monuments that we’re going to,” said Michael Napoli, co-chairman of the Memorial Day Parade committee, “these individuals, some passed, some didn’t. Some went home and had lives.
The name of Napoli’s father-in-law and his brothers, who served in World War II, rests on the monument at Forest Avenue and Ford Street. Three of the brothers, Napoli said, returned home, but one died. “So our wreath laying isn’t just for the war dead,” said Napoli, a veteran. “He honors veterans.”
The WWI Doughboy Monument at Glen Cove Public holds significance to Nielson. A typical statue of Doughboy, Nielson said, usually appears in a triumphant stride with his rifle held above his head, but the city’s own interpretation, in which late World War I veteran William Spenncke has modeled, stands head and rifle down in a reflective state.
“I’m glad ours is a contemplative reflection on cost,” Nielsen said. “Yes, we won. But we didn’t win without the cost of blood and bones, and without the end of a young and wonderful life for thousands and thousands of people.
Memorial Day was once known as Decoration Day because of its ancient tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags. Due to the full day of Veterans Day events, the Memorial Day Committee held the wreath ceremony the day before to follow the national tradition.
“Because we have such a long morning and afternoon with the ceremony and the parade,” Jimenez said, “we then, as a committee, decided that the day before we would do our decoration of the graves and services. memorials to monuments.
During each session, the military “tap,” which is the 24 mournful notes commemorating the memory of members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard , sounded. Napoli said a “tap”, which is played by a trumpet, can also be heard at military bases. “They are tap dancing at the end of the day every day on a military post,” Napoli said.
The mournful tune was a military bugle revised by Major General Daniel Adams Butterfield in 1862 for his brigade. Because the original ‘tap’ called ‘Tattoo’ – which Napoli say symbolizes the end of the day, Butterfield changed the last five and a half bars to honor his men. Today the roll call is played at funerals, wreath laying ceremonies and memorial services.