SEA CLIFF SALUTES ITS VETERANS
November 15, 2016--On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, with more than two dozen veterans mustered in front of the Clifton Park "Rock" that honors those Sea Cliffians who nearly 100 years ago fought in the First World War, dozens of current residents gathered to observe Veterans Day, paying tribute to those before them and others who have served this Country in the armed forces. Phil Como, Commander of James F. Brengel American Legion Post #456, presided over the ceremony.
Following the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance led by Scott Whitting, Reverend David Collins of the Sea Cliff Gospel Church, delivered the invocation, and Sea Cliff Resident Catherine Virgilio, facing the veterans gave a powerful rendition of America The Beautiful.
Mayor Bruce Kennedy then spoke and called on those assembled to remember that the country has an obligation to support its veterans after their service by ensuring that those who return home from serving their country have access to training to prepare them for good jobs, quality housing, healthcare, and support services. The Mayor concluded his remarks presenting Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington), who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years but did not seek re-election to a ninth term, with a proclamation from the Village thanking him for his service.
"While this may be my final Veterans Day as a member of Congress," said Representative Israel, "it is not my final Veterans Day as an American citizen."
Often asked what his best moments as a Congressman were, he explained that nothing made him prouder than being able to secure funds for back pay for the veterans he represents.
"It doesn't matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat," he continued. "Our fundamental obligation is to make America a good place for these heroes to come home to - that's what we're about."
The ceremony concluded with Sea Cliff resident Lesley Pryde Haley leading those assembled in singing God Bless America.
The veterans then made their way off to the Sea Cliff Firehouse where they enjoyed a fine lunch provided by the James Brengel American Legion Post #456.
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