Tags Posts tagged with "Memorial Day"

Memorial Day

Scene from the Town of Huntington’s Memorial Day celebration on Sunday, May 26. Photo by Michael Scro

The Town of Huntington hosted a Wreath Laying Ceremony on May 26 at Veterans Plaza on the front lawn of Town Hall on May 26 in commemoration of Memorial Day.  Wreaths were placed to honor fallen service members from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Women Veterans, and the Middle East; Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. 

The ceremony included live patriotic music featuring the Huntington Men’s Chorus, Veteran Color Guard, a Rifle Salute, Taps played on bugle, and Amazing Grace played with Pipe & Drum.  Gold Star Mother Constance Mangano was in attendance, in memory of her son, New York National Guard Spec. Anthony L. Mangano.  

Photos by Michael Scro/Media Origin



By Rita J. Egan

Despite the threat of rain, the Setauket Memorial Day Parade went on as planned on Monday, May 27.

Hosted by Veterans of Foreign War Post 3054, the event began with a wreath-laying ceremony on the Village Green. After the ceremony, veterans, volunteer firefighters, elected officials, the Ward Melville marching band, Scouts, dancers, twirlers and more marched up Main Street to Route 25A, where hundreds of participants lined the street.

The parade ended with Post 3054 hosting another wreath-laying ceremony at Setauket Veterans Memorial Park on Shore Road and Route 25A.

The LoRusso boys. Photo courtesy of Rich Acritelli

By Rich Acritelli

Monday, May 27, is Memorial Day, which remembers all of those service members who were lost for the defense of America. It was created after the Civil War as Decoration Day to honor the lost Americans from both sides of this terrible conflict. Whereas our citizens fought in additional wars, it was originally recognized on every May 30, but it was changed in 1971 for the last Monday of May. As Americans will surely enjoy the warmer weather, this is a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day. 

Many of these memories are on display at the exhibit picture Wall of Honor at the VFW Post 6249 Suffolk County World War II and Military History Museum. There are a multitude of different pictures and military experiences from our local veterans. 

Frank Asselta

Rocky Point native Frank Asselta was taught by Joseph Edgar and enjoyed playing soccer, basketball and baseball. Graduating from Port Jefferson High School in 1963, Asselta attended Suffolk County Community College to earn his associates degree. In 1965, directly after graduation, he was drafted into the Army and attended basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. By 1966, he was deployed to South Vietnam as an infantry combat medic and he observed the massive escalation of this war to oppose the strength of the North Vietnamese Army and the Vietcong. Asselta was wounded in combat and he received the Bronze Star for his duel capacities of fighting the enemy and treating his own men under the duress of warfare.

Exposed to graphic warfare that resulted in fighting that never left him for the rest of his life, Asselta suffers from PTSD that he has managed for his entire adult life. This Sunday, May 26, Asselta is the driving force behind the annual VFW Post 6249 PTSD 5K Race at Rocky Point High School at 11 a.m. Asselta believes “all members of the Armed Forces who have been in combat need to be properly supported by our citizens. This run is a reminder to take care of all veterans who battle the difficulties of PTSD and I am proud of this mission to never forget about those veterans who are forced to deal with this condition.” The post’s Cmdr. Joe Cognitore marvels at the “immense energy” that Asselta displays on a daily basis to ensure the success of this race to care for our local veterans. 

Charles Pisano

Another infantry combat medic was a physical kid from Smithtown who was an extremely talented wrestler within Suffolk County and New York state. Charles Pisano was sent to South Vietnam and saw the powerful enemy buildup and their battlefield presence from 1968-69. He is one of the highest decorated medics to have served during the Vietnam War for the U.S. Army. Pisano for his immense time in the field was awarded the Combat Medic Badge, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, the Army Air Medal for 50 missions in the field, two Bronze Stars for Valor, the Silver Star and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for continually saving wounded American soldiers.

During every Memorial Day, Pisano’s prayers are always for those comrades who were killed from the Vietnam War. His daughter Jamie, a social studies and special education teacher at Rocky Point High School, recalls that “from a young age, my dad always made sure I understood how important Memorial Day was to honor our soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for America.” This family has devotedly assisted guide dogs who help blind veterans and those that are suffering from PTSD.

Nicholas LoRusso

Graduating Rocky Point High School in 2003, Nicholas LoRusso was a captain of the lacrosse team and a talented wrestler. He is one of four brothers to have attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In January, LoRusso, a military combat engineer, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and he has been in the active army for 17 years. He is married to Tricia with two kids, Madison and Cole, and has moved eight times during his career. LoRusso served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and taught at West Point. 

During the height of the War on Terror, LoRusso vividly recalled his time in uniform, “I have classmates that were killed in combat within the first 12 to 18 months of service after we graduated. I served in units that have lost people. Ramp ceremonies on Bagram Airfield and memorials on combat outposts and forward operating bases in the mountains of Afghanistan are burned in my memory. I get to see, hug, laugh and share moments with my family and friends, and those we remember on Memorial Day are unable to do so. There are children, mothers, fathers and siblings missing a piece of them. Mine are not. These are things I think about on Memorial Day and it makes me cherish what I have. Those we remember on Memorial Day stood up, said ‘Send me,’ and unfortunately didn’t come back. I am honored to have served among these brave and selfless people and I hope the service I have continued in the military and the life I am living is worthy of the lives they gave up for our nation.”

Kevin LoRusso

The LoRussos represent the multitude of American families who have sent many family members abroad. Kevin LoRusso was an artillery officer who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, where he fought in Mazār-e Sharīf. Like his older brother, he reflects on friends that he served with and recognizes Memorial Day as “a time I remember West Point classmates that have paid the sheer sacrifice while protecting this nation. Recently, a good friend Steve Dwyer was my lacrosse teammate at the West Point Preparatory School. He was a helicopter pilot who was killed with his crew on a training mission, leaving behind his wife and three young boys. As I spend time with my friends and family, I will be fondly thinking about my military friends who are no longer with us today.”

Gregory Monz

An all-around good kid who graduated from Rocky Point in 2005, Gregory Monz was a tough kid who was the first All-County football player for this high school. Before shipping out, Monz could be seen carrying a full ruck sack of rocks to prepare for his training. He descends from a family that has supported the defense of America over the last several decades and continued this military tradition during the height of the War on Terror.

  A corrections officer, Monz is married with a growing family of his own. He believes “Memorial Day for myself is exactly what this day is supposed to be about — remembering. I want to instill the same respect for our fallen warriors to my sons as my parents have taught me. I take my four sons to Calverton National Cemetery to help place American flags at every headstone. As a veteran, Memorial Day is a quiet day for myself. Many thoughts replay a bit more about my brothers I served with, not only about those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, but also the ones who could not move on stateside. To this date I have lost more Marines to PTSD than overseas. We must do better and we also must remember them.”

Never forget

May this nation never forget about those lost veterans from all national defense conflicts and situations. Thank you to those current Armed Forces members who still operate in harm’s way that are determined to support this nation on Memorial Day. And may we always show appreciation to those current veterans who are out of uniform that have made our people proud of their services to support the citizens and ideals of this great country.

Approximately 50 girls from The Girl Scouts of Suffolk County (GSSC)  honored Long Island military veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation by planting American Flags at their graves at Calverton National Cemetery on May 25 in advance of Memorial Day.

The annual event is part of the GSSC county-wide Service Unit 48 activities and included girls ages 5 to 16 from Mastic Beach, Shirley and Moriches. 

Many of the girls have been participating in the activity for years.
“As an older Girl Scout it’s important to be a role model for the younger girls and to keep the tradition alive,” said Olivia Philips, of Mastic, who has been planting flags for nearly 10 years. 
“Im proud of the girls that they take the time out,” said Laura Sorgie of Shirley, who is a troop leader and member of Service Unit 48, which organized the event. “So many people think this is just a long holiday weekend for barbecues. I’m so proud of them for coming out here and doing what’s really important.” 
The girls also earned a special “Calverton National Cemetery” patch to wear on their sashes and vests. 
About Girl Scouts of Suffolk County 
Since 1968, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County has been committed to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. With over 15,000 members, they are one of the largest youth-serving agencies in Suffolk County. Girl Scouts helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others. For more information about the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, please call (631) 543-6622 or visit www.gssc.us.

Memorial Day is a solemn occasion, a time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. We pay our respects at cemeteries, hold parades and fly the flag at half-staff. But as we honor the fallen, let’s not forget the living veterans who carry the weight of their service.

Memorial Day can be a springboard for a broader conversation about supporting our veterans. New York State, Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven all offer a range of programs that address veterans needs, from health care and education to mental health services and job training. Here’s a breakdown of some of the resources available:

New York State:

● NYS Department of Veterans’ Services: The DVS is a one-stop shop for veterans, offering benefits that include counseling, education assistance, employment programs and more. Call 888-838-7697 or visit NYS Department of Veterans’ Services website at veterans.ny.gov to learn more.

● Benefits for Veterans and Families: The NYS Veterans Bill of Rights ensures priority in employment and training programs. Explore details on the New York State Assembly website at nyassembly.gov.

Suffolk County: 

● Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency: The VS agency provides veterans with a variety of services, including benefits assistance, health care navigation, and referrals to mental health resources. Reach out at 631-853-8387.

Town of Brookhaven:

● Brookhaven Division of Veterans Services: The department offers support with benefit claims, honors veterans through ceremonies and maintains a food pantry specifically for veterans and their families. Call the veterans service officer at 631-451-6574.

Beyond government agencies:

● Veterans Service Organizations: These national organizations, like the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans, provide camaraderie, advocacy and social events for veterans. Local chapters often offer additional resources. Find a VSO near you through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.va.gov.

This is not an exhaustive list. Many local charities and organizations offer programs specifically tailored to veterans needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your local veteran service agency or VSO chapter for further guidance.

But government programs can only go so far. We, as a community, need to step up as well. Let’s reach out to veterans in our neighborhoods, check in on their well-being and offer a helping hand. Simple acts of kindness can go a long way in showing our appreciation for their service. Memorial Day should extend throughout the whole year.

Frozen Mixed berry Pie

By Heidi Sutton

Memorial Day celebrations should stress-free and these no-bake desserts will give you plenty of time to attend a parade and spend time with family and friends. Fast and fabulous recipes like these assemble in minutes. Here are some delicious choices, courtesy of Eagle Brand.

Fresh Fruit Cream Cheese Pie

Fresh Fruit Cream Cheese Pie

YIELD: Serves 6 to 8


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 9-inch frozen deep-dish pie crust, baked

Fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, bananas*)

Seedless red raspberry jam


Beat cream cheese in large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into baked pie crust. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set. Arrange fruit on top of pie. If coating berries, stir jam until smooth. Brush berries with jam and serve. Dip the bananas in lemon juice before placing on pie to keep them from turning brown. Do not coat with jam.

Frozen Mixed Berry Pie

Frozen Mixed berry Pie

YIELD: Serves 6 to 8


1  can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

1/2  cup lemon juice from concentrate

1 1/2 to 2  cups assorted fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)

4 cups frozen light whipped topping, thawed

1 graham cracker crumb crust (9 inches)


In large mixing bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice until well combined. Mix in berries. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Freeze 5 hours, or until set. Let stand 30-40 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired. Freeze leftovers.

Lemon Raspberry Ribbon Pie

Lemon Raspberry Ribbon Pie

YIELD: Serves 6 to 8


1 (10-ounce) package frozen red raspberries, thawed

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)

1/2 cup lemon juice from concentrate

Yellow food coloring if desired

2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, stiffly whipped

1 (9-inch) pastry shell, baked

Fresh raspberries for garnish, optional


In small saucepan, combine raspberries and cornstarch; cook and stir until thickened and clear. Cool 10 minutes. Chill thoroughly, about 20 minutes.

In large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and food coloring if desired. Fold in whipped cream. Spread one-third lemon mixture into prepared pastry shell; top with raspberry mixture then remaining lemon mixture.

Chill thoroughly. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Frozen Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

Frozen Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

YIELD: Serves 6 to 8


2  squares (1 ounce each) semi-sweet baking chocolate

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

1/4  cup creamy peanut butter

1 tub (8 ounces) frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed

1  graham cracker crumb crust (9 inches)


In large mixing bowl, melt chocolate squares in microwave for 15 seconds, or until completely melted. Add sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter to melted chocolate; mix well. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Freeze 6 hours. Garnish as desired. Freeze leftovers.

A time honored tradition for Memorial Day, Long Island National Cemetery, 2040 Wellwood Ave., Farmingdale seeks volunteers to place American flags on veteran’s graves on May 25 at 8 a.m. and to return to the cemetery on June 1 at 8 a.m. to remove the flags. No registration required. For more info, call 631-454-4949.

Volunteers are also needed to place flags at Calverton National Cemetery, 210 Princeton BLvd., Calverton on May 25 at 9:30 a.m. and to pick up the flags on June 1 at 9:30 a.m. and roll them up in bundles of 20 so they can be put into storage for the following year. Rain date is June 2. To register, contact Frank Bailey at [email protected] or call 631-732-4529.


It was a bright and breezy Monday as hundreds lined Route 25A in Setauket to cheer on the annual Memorial Day parade participants.

The event kicked off after a wreath-laying ceremony on the Village Green across from Emma S. Clark Memorial Library.

Veterans, scouts, elected officials, the Ward Melville marching band and more made their way down the parade route, ending with a closing ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park on Shore Road and 25A.

Earlier in the day, another ceremony was held at Stony Brook Harbor Memorial near the fire department.

Over the last ten years, NVIDIA’s shares have risen more than ten thousand percent, the best performance of any company in the S & P 500 over that period.

By Michael E. Russell

Michael E. Russell

As we start off summer with a beautiful Memorial Day weekend I think back to the many sacrifices of the men and women who served in our Armed Forces. They fought to defend our freedom and defeat tyranny all over the globe.  I especially think about my father-in-law, Dr. Sherman Mills, who served in Europe during WWII.  

Dr. Mills was a D-Day surgeon who survived Normandy and the march into Germany. Upon discharge he came home to Long Island and worked as a physician in Port Jefferson, attending to patients in his office, at their homes and at St. Charles and J.T. Mather Memorial Hospital; a man of the greatest generation. Papa, you are missed. 

Well, how is your money doing? For those of you who have followed my articles over the past year, I repeatedly spoke of the company NVIDIA. Ring a bell? NVIDIA invents the GPU and advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), HPC, gaming, creative design, autonomous vehicles and robotics.  Their stock was trading at $122 on October 14, 2022. It closed this past Friday at $389.46.  This past Wednesday the stock surged by $81, an increase of 29% in one day.

NVIDIA’s remarkable increase in value represents the emergence of a new American corporate giant. Its market value is now more than $1 trillion. It now joins the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Amazon. Over the last ten years, NVIDIA’s shares have risen more than ten thousand percent, the best performance of any company in the S & P 500 over that period. Incredible numbers, but here are some other numbers to look at.

Tesla, at its peak in November 2021, was up 19,000 percent over the prior 10 years.  However, ten thousand percentage points of that gain have disappeared as reality has hit home. NVIDIA, as well as other semi-conductor companies, are in a remarkably lucrative spot in our technology ecosystem.  Their silicon chips are in high demand, whether it be cloud-computing, crypto, or, God help us, AI.  

Is the horse out of the barn or is it still a place to invest? Just remember, pigs get slaughtered. For those of you who own this stock, it may be wise to take some money off the table or put in some stop–losses.  

As I write this it appears that house speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden may have a debt ceiling deal after we had to worry about a potential U.S. Treasury default for the first time in history. McCarthy still has to convince the hard-liners in his caucus that this is a viable budget. We will know by June 5th. The American people have been tolerant of the shenanigans of our elected officials in Washington, but a default would be political suicide for many of these clowns!

Back to AI:  the more I learn, the more concern I have. Two weeks ago, Sam Altman, the chief executive of the San Francisco startup OpenAI, testified before members of a Senate sub-committee and spoke to the need for regulating the increasingly powerful AI technology being created by others like Google and Microsoft. In addition, Geoffrey Hinton, who is considered the Artificial Intelligence pioneer, spoke to the inherent dangers of AI. He made many bold statements, including his regrets for his life’s work. Wow! Major concerns include generative AI, which is already a tool for misinformation. He also considers AI a potential risk to all mankind. Stay tuned.  

On a positive note, it appears that the banking fiasco has abated for now. The major money center banks have stabilized the markets by buying up assets of smaller banks. In the meantime, Janet Yellen and Jerome Powell appear to be lost in the forest without a compass.  

Once again readers, if you are looking for stability, Treasury yields on the 2-year bill are approaching 5%. With inflation slowing somewhat, not a bad place to put some money. Until next time.

Michael E. Russell retired after 40 years working for various Wall Street firms. All recommendations being made here are not guaranteed and may incur a loss of principal. The opinions and investment recommendations expressed in the column are the author’s own. TBR News Media does not endorse any specific investment advice and urges investors to consult with their financial advisor.