Community members, first responders and veterans groups gathered on Memorial Day, May 29, with services paying tribute to the fallen.
The Sound Beach Fire Department hosted its annual memorial service, recognizing the departed members. James McLoughlin Jr., 2nd assistant chief of the department, shared the meaning of the service and the importance of recognizing first responders who have laid down their lives in the line of duty.
“The death of these fine men and women merits recognition and honor by our department,” he said. “While we are saddened by their deaths, we also testify to their many contributions in making their communities a better place to live, and we pay tribute to their memory.”
In Rocky Point, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6249 held a service honoring the departed members of the post and recognizing the sacrifices of American service members.
Joe Cognitore, commander of Post 6249, delivered an address to the many in attendance. He expressed his gratitude for those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice, risking their own lives to protect the freedoms of others.
“As we stand together today, we are reminded of the true cost of freedom,” Cognitore said. “While we as a nation mourn the lives lost, we celebrate the lives and are forever grateful.”
He added, “In an attempt to pay back our debt as American citizens, we also must not only remember the fallen, but it is our responsibility to teach our youth that nothing comes without a cost and that sacrifices are meaningless without remembrance.”
Rounding off the ceremonies for the day, the Sound Beach Civic Association hosted a service at the Veterans Memorial Park, recognizing the hamlet’s fallen service members. Musical renditions were performed by members of the Rocky Point High School Music Department, with veterans of the U.S. armed services raising the flags of their chosen branches of service.
SBCA president Bea Ruberto reflected upon the motivations behind the annual service, calling the event a means to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Each year, we come together on this day and in this place to reflect upon their sacrifice and honor their memory,” she said.
At each of these events, memorial wreaths were placed as a symbolic tribute of thanks to the fallen.