Editor's Note: This article was written and submitted by Chris Boyle:
At the Merrick Library
last weekend, a ceremony was held to celebrate a special group of military veterans and their selfless service to our country.
Assemblyman Dave McDonough, R-Merrick, held his second annual Veterans Hall of Honor induction before a gathered selection of honorably discharged military personnel and their families. The 22 inductees spanned wars all the way from World War II to the Korean conflict.
McDonough, himself an ex-military vet, started the ceremony with a heartfelt expression of gratitude to the newest members of his Hall of Honor.
“For those who are being honored today, and for their comrades who are here as guests, thank you so much for your service,” McDonough said. “We live in a very difficult time, but we much always remember to take time out to remember those people who served with us...some of which never came home. I salute you all, and I’m so happy you’re here.”
Each Hall of Honor inductee was presented with a certificate by McDonough, showing the appreciation of a grateful nation for their bravery, hard work and sacrifice in order to maintain the safety and ideals that all Americans enjoy.
The honorees that day were elected by members of their American Legion Posts
, including ones in Levittown, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport and others. Sadly, two of the 22 inductees received their honors posthumously.
Among the veterans honored was John Ambrose, who had served in World War II and is a member of the North Bellmore American Legion Post 1749
. In 2009 Ambrose was elected the Post’s Legionnaire of the Year.
“It’s a wonderful honor to be recognized in this way,” Ambrose said. “It’s nice that people remember what we did for our nation, and why we did it.”
Joseph Ambrosino is a U.S. Army vet who served in Korea, and is a member of the Merrick American Legion Post 1282.
“It’s a great honor,” Ambrosino said. “I was picked out and nominated by my fellow American Legion members for this, and I really appreciate it.”
Marie Carmel Houanche was the only female veteran honored on that day. A member of the Freeport American Legion Post 342, Houanche military career began when she joined the Army in 1984, eventually retiring in 2011 after serving both stateside and overseas in various medical capacities.
“It’s awesome to be honored by Assemblyman McDonough today,” she said. “The weather is beautiful, and the crowd was beautiful. It’s just a lovely day to spend with my fellow American veterans.”What did you think of the ceremony? Tell us in the comments below.
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