Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day in Brookhaven Hamlet

Memorial Day in Brookhaven Hamlet

Brookhaven Fire Department Sponsors Annual Service with Usual Solemnity and Honor

Memorial Plaque Dedicated for Brookhaven Participants in The War on Terror in Iraq and Afganistan

Brookhaven Hamlet again celebrated Memorial Day with a parade and the traditional ceremony at the Memorial Triangle.  A special feature of this year's program was the dedication of a new memorial plaque recornizing the men and women who served during the War on Terror in Iraq and Afganistan since 2001.
Color Party and Honor Guard
Fire Department Color Party
Local Government Representatives
Brookhaven Town Councilperson Connie Kepert,
NY Assembleperson Dean Murray,
U.S. representative Tim Bishop.
Color Party and Honor Guard
Fire Department Color Party
Brookhaven Fire Department
Brookhaven Fire Department
South Country Ambulance Company
South Country Ambulance Company
Bellport High School Band
Bellport High School Band
Bellport High School Band
Bellport High School Band
Bobby Stirling
Bobby Sterling Decorated Bicycle is the final section
of the parade.  To many residents, it is the highlight. 
What will he do this year?
Fire Department Chaplin Delivers the Invocation
Brookhaven Fire Department Chaplain Ed Sives
Delivers the Invocation
The ceremony following the parade changes little year-to-year.  It's Brookhaven Hamlet's version of "Ground Hog Day."  I commented to several folks that I could publish pictures from thirty years ago, and, unless you looked carefully, it would be hard to notice the difference.  Most responded--"That's the charm of it."  To me, however, it is more than just "charming" (allthough it is that).  It is an expression of our shared community values regardless of our specific individual beliefs.

I remember, many years ago during the Vietnam War, standing beside the cannon still on the site while the local Presbyterian minister symbolically exorised it and praying that the war end.  Surrounding us were many of the community (as there were in communities all across the country) who clearly let us know that they did not stand with us.  I still do not believe that there is a "good" war.  But there are good people who fight these wars.

Among my earliest childhood memories is that of Memorial Day (called Decoration Day back then).  The day before, we would travel to cemeteries throughout Western New York visiting rural and urban cemeteries within a sixty mile or so radius, placing flowers on family gravesites.  The entire day was spent at this task.  Then on Memorial Day itself, the entire neighborhood would gather at a local park and share a breakfast, making sure we got back home in time to walk over to Main Street for the parade.  My father would take us in tow (my mother usually did not go).  After the parade past, we would follow it along with others to that village's monuments—there were two, one for the Civil War and one for the more recent wars.  There too the ceremonies were always nearly exactly the same year to year.  The surprise of the honor volley startled us then as it does us now.  A change would come over my father (he was not a remonstrance man, and himself had little connect to any lost in the war).  We would then walk quietly back home; followed by a drive to my grandparent's for a large family picnic.  The ritual never changed until I left home to go to college.

In my occassional walks about our town, I pause at the Memorial park, and stand before the plaques placed there. I have posted on this web site our Brookhave/South Haven Honor Roll, including wars back to the Revolutionary War.  For many of the names listed there, I have included links to their personal histories.   I offer a little wish (prayer, if you will) that there be no more plaques.  But I know that this will not be so.
Chief Kinsella prepares to uncover new memorial plaque
Former Brookhaven Fire Department Chief Ron Kinsella
prepares to uncover the new memorial plaque. 
Chief Ron Kinsella and new memorial plaque
Chief Kinsella was instrumental in getting the plaque made.
Some of the Brookhaven Soldiers named on the plaque
Those who were able to be present for the dedication:
 Lance Corporal Amanda A. Litcher; Hudson A. Darrow; Margaret & Anthony Cacase, parents of Guy Cacase; Jason R Kinsella; David McCutcheon III; Clayton J. Stanek
Closeup of plaque
Names aon the placque:
Ryan Barnett, David M. Butler, Guy Cacace,
Andrew T. Darrow, Hudson A. Darrow,
Jason R. Kinsella, Amanda A. Litcher,
David McCutcheon III, John D. Muglia,
Scott F. Scutari, and Clayton J. Stanek.
Laying of Wreaths
Memorial wreaths were presented by various organizations.
Including the Brookhaven Fire Department, the Woman's Auxialary
of the Fire Department, the South Country Ambulance Company,
the Mastic Fire Department, the Brookhaven Village Association,
 and the local Boy Scout Troop and Cub Pack

No comments: