Senator Martins Serves as Keynote Speaker at Armed Forces Day Ceremony in South Floral Park

Jack M. Martins

May 23, 2011

The 21st annual South Floral Park “Armed Forces Day” was celebrated this past Saturday under sunny skies and a large crowd in front of South Floral Park Village Hall. The day is dedicated to the brave men and women who so proudly serve in our Armed Forces in the United States. Mayor Geoffrey Prime and Village Trustee George Ingram welcomed State Senator Jack M. Martins, who was tapped by village officials to serve as keynote speaker for event.

Joining Martins in the ceremony were County Legislator John Ciotti, Councilman Ed Ambrosino, Trustee Kathleen Sharkey, Trustee Elton McCabe, Assemblyman Edward Ra, Floral Park Mayor Tom Tweedy, Trustee Dominic Longobardi, Stewart Manor Trustee Gerry Tangredi, Floral Park Memorial HS Principal Kathy Sottile, Elmont School District Community Liaison Norma DeBartolo, Elmont Chamber of Commerce Member Muzzio Tallini, Elmont American Legion Commander Manny Rodriguez, South Floral Park Civic member Tony Barbieri and Jamaica Square Improvement League President Claudine Hall.

“It was a great honor and privilege to take part in this very important event for South Floral Park and its neighbors of Floral Park, Elmont and Stewart Manor. Today, community leaders and our young people, took a moment to thank those who serve and salute them for their personal sacrifices so that we can be a free nation,” said Senator Martins adding, “this is the only such ceremony of its kind in the 7th Senate district. When you looked out at all the young people, the generations of men and women in uniform, and the message today, it truly shows you what a great country we live in.”

The program began with the 1st Marine Corps doing a presentation of the colors in front of the review stand. Local resident Sandra Morales wowed the crowd with a moving rendition of the Star Spangle Banner. Rev. Randy Holmes of the United Methodist Church gave a very inspiring invocation. Throughout the program, the Sewanhaka High School Band performed patriotic songs under the direction of Band Director Chris Doherty. Elmont American Legion Post 1033 served as the color guard of the event with Legion members Manny Rodriguez and Ralph Esposito coordinating the effort.

Trustee and Police Commissioner George Ingram served as Master of Ceremonies where he discussed the importance of Armed Forces Day in South Floral Park. He introduced all dignitaries and welcomed the greater community for participating in the event. Mayor Geoffrey Prime offered remarks on the significance of the day and the impact our Armed Forces have on our nation. He saluted our local men and women in uniform for their service.

South Floral Park Mayor Geoffrey Prime said, “today is a day where we thank those who serve and salute them for all they do for our country. On behalf of the Village of South Floral Park we thank you and everyone who has come out here today to share in this special event.”

Floral Park Mayor Tom Tweedy noted, “The Third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day, has been uniquely celebrated in South Floral Park for decades. The eloquence provided by Senator Jack Martins, Mayor Geoffrey Prime and Trustee George Ingram coupled with the respect and esteem the residents of South Floral Park bestowed upon our men and women serving in our armed forces during its ceremony was most moving. I join all, especially those in our sister village, in thanking our soldiers, sailors and marines for the freedoms and liberties they preserve and we enjoy each day.

County Legislator John Ciotti, Councilman Ed Ambrosino and Assemblyman Edward Ra gave brief remarks during the ceremony. Legislator Ciotti thanked those who served and read a story about a serviceman during the 1960’s and the impact his service had in his life. “This is one of my favorite ceremonies throughout the year. We honor our service men and women and thank them for all they do,” said Legislator Ciotti.

Senator Martins thanked the men and women in uniform gathered at the ceremony. He noted the presence of the veterans from Elmont, South Floral Park, Floral Park, Stewart Manor and Franklin Square who were in attendance. “When we reflect on what the men and women in uniform are doing overseas right now and the fact that they are in harms way, there is nothing we can’t do to help them, support them and stand by them as they serve our country,” said Senator Martins.

At the end of the ceremony, a special wreath was placed at the veteran’s monument in front of Village Hall. South Floral Park Civic Association members Tony Barbieri and Karina Guevera placed the wreath as Elmont American Legion member George Dee played taps on the trumpet. Reverend Dorett Johnson-Agu gave the Benediction at the conclusion of the ceremony.