Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of villages around Nassau County remembered our fallen heroes in a new and different way—from a distance. Usually, the streets of Mineola would be filled with the sounds of marching bands, sirens and cheers on any given Memorial Day, but this year the streets fell silent as a small ceremony in Memorial Park was held to honor those who sacrificed everything for us.
“Normally our Memorial Day ceremony is hugely attended by our friends, our neighbors, our veterans and families of those who have given up their lives in service to our country,” Mayor Scott Strauss said at the ceremony, who was joined by the board of trustees, Commander of American Legion Post 349 Carl Marchese and a small group of other people.
“We normally would have had the park crowded with our firefighters, auxiliary police, ambulance corps, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and scores of people and organizations. Instead we have representatives for them with us here. This year is sadly different. In hopes of lessening the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state has prevented us from having a parade to remember and honor our heroes. The state has given us the option of having a ceremony or not. If we chose to have one, it could only be attended by a few people. Myself, commander Marchese and my fellow board members feel that Memorial Day is too important to let go unrecognized.”
Strauss said that the pandemic wouldn’t stop our military heroes from protecting the U.S. and that the pandemic that is currently happening wouldn’t stop the village from remembering and honoring those heroes.
Father Malcolm Burns from Corpus Cristi Church in Mineola also attended the small ceremony citing a prayer, which was followed by former U.S. Marine Steve Solarik, who played Taps to close out the ceremony.
The Mineola Chamber of Commerce also played their part this year when it came time to distribute American flags to residents, which are usually handed out to residents, who line the streets to watch the village’s Memorial Day parade. Instead the chamber of commerce put flags on people’s lawns around the village.
“We decorated village hall and will be taking a picture at NYU Winthrop Hospital, where we will be putting American flags on the metal fence surrounding the hospital as well as a few lawn signs, that say ‘Heroes Work Here,’” chamber president Joel Harris said.