The United Veterans Organization, including local American Legion Post 269, VFW Post 2913 and AmVets Post 111, will still be hosting their annual Memorial Day ceremony, minus the parade, at 11 …
The United Veterans Organization, including local American Legion Post 269, VFW Post 2913 and AmVets Post 111, will still be hosting their annual Memorial Day ceremony, minus the parade, at 11 a.m.. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s ceremony will be livestreamed via the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce’s website for the first time in village history.
“On behalf of our chamber, we are grateful to Patchogue VFW Cmdr. Dave Rogers for organizing a virtual Memorial Day Ceremony. Despite the current pandemic, it is still important we recognize those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms on the special day set aside for this occasion. We are proud to use our social media to livestream this ceremony to the community,” said chamber executive director David Kennedy.
Sponsored by the UVO, Village of Patchogue and chamber, ceremony orga- nizer and VFW Post Cmdr. Dave Rogers said, “We must still remember those veterans that are no longer with us and those that paid the ultimate sacrifice...this ensures we continue to honor and remember them despite the times we are in.”
In attendance will be a few commanders and veterans alongside government officials, including Patchogue mayor Paul Pontieri, Legis. Rob Calarco, Sen. Monica Martinez and councilman Neil Foley. Social distancing and mask protocol will be followed, and no one will be formally invited to watch. Instead, everyone is encouraged to tune in to the chamber’s Facebook Live broadcast at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.
“I have always believed that the Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies are two of the most import things we do in this community on a yearly basis,” Pontieri said. “The plan doesn’t do what the Memorial Day ceremony typically does, but something must be done,” he continued, explaining that in addition to the South Ocean Avenue Middle School and Patchogue-Medford High School bands, hundreds of people usually gather.
For those who are restricted from attending, aside from watching the livestream, Rogers suggested local residents display their flags and share the stories of veterans they knew or were family members.
“So many veterans have given so much; not to stand up and do something would be wrong,” Rogers added.