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Memorial Day

Chicken legs and pork ribs smothered in Texas Barbecue Sauce

By Barbara Beltrami

After the harsh winter and capricious spring we’ve endured, Memorial Day comes as a welcome harbinger of summer and all that it embraces. From picnic to pool party, beach to ball game, swimming and surfing and napping in a hammock, this holiday officially ushers in the season and all its pleasures and indulgences. Perhaps the first and most frequent herald, though, is the backyard barbecue. For pure anticipation, the aroma of something on the grill after a long day at the beach, in the pool or, on the flip side, plugging away in the heat is one of summer’s most welcome enticements. 

Let us not forget, however, especially in these troubled times, what the holiday is all about. Let us remember all the fallen soldiers who have not lived to enjoy these renewable pleasures of the season that we take so much for granted.

Here are four of many regional recipes for barbecue sauce guaranteed to whet any summer appetite. Depending on what part of the South or West you hail from, you will think that the barbecue sauce from your region is the only one worth dipping a basting brush into. 

For example, Texas barbecue sauce is, as you might expect, redolent with tomatoes and southwestern flavors like chili, whereas South Carolina uses a lot of mustard, which gives its sauce a yellowish hue. Go to Kansas City and you’ll find a sweet sauce that relies heavily on molasses, brown sugar and onion; but its rival, Memphis, boasts a tangy, thin sauce that calls for mustard and a big dose of vinegar. Basically, these recipes call for little more preparation than combining the ingredients. If your roots are in Brooklyn or Queens, you can impartially enjoy them all.

Texas Barbecue Sauce

Chicken legs and pork ribs smothered in Texas Barbecue Sauce

YIELD: Makes about 3½ cups

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups ketchup

1 large onion, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup A.1 sauce

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed      lemon juice

1 tablespoon molasses

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

DIRECTIONS: 

In a medium nonreactive saucepan combine ingredients and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate or use immediately to baste steak, pork ribs or chicken legs during last 15 minutes of grilling. Pass any extra sauce with meal and serve with plenty of cole slaw and potato salad.

South Carolina Barbecue Sauce

Pulled pork on a bun smothered in South Carolina BBQ Sauce

YIELD: Makes 3 to 3½ cups

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, minced 

2 garlic cloves, chopped and sautéed in one tablespoon vegetable oil until soft but not at all browned

2 cups prepared yellow mustard

2/3 cup cider vinegar

¼ cup ketchup

1 teaspoon hot sauce

¾ cup sugar

One chicken bouillon cube, crushed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 2 teaspoons dried

1 tablespoon powdered mustard

2 teaspoons coarse salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS: 

Heat vegetable oil and sauté onion until golden; remove and set aside. Sauté garlic until soft but not at all brown. Remove and along with onion, add to remaining ingredients; puree together in electric food processor. Cover and refrigerate or use immediately to baste pulled pork or brisket during last 15 minutes of grilling. Serve with sweet potato fries, tomato and kale salad and ice cold beer.

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

Chicken smothered in Kansas City BBQ Sauce

YIELD: Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, bruised

½ cup tomato sauce

¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon yellow prepared mustard

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

DIRECTIONS: 

Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet; add onion and garlic and sauté till soft. Add remaining ingredients, except liquid smoke, as well as one cup water. Stirring frequently, heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in liquid smoke. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use or use immediately to baste chicken, pork or beef during last 15 minutes of grilling. Serve with fried green tomatoes, french fries and tossed salad.

Memphis Barbecue Sauce

A rack of ribs basted with Memphis BBQ Sauce

YIELD: Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, bruised

1/3 cup cider vinegar

¾ cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup steak sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon yellow prepared mustard

Dash of celery seed

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

DIRECTIONS: 

Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet; add onion and garlic and sauté till soft. Add remaining ingredients, except liquid smoke, as well as ½ cup water. Stirring frequently, heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in liquid smoke. Use to baste beef, pork or chicken during last 15 minutes of grilling and serve with corn on the cob, cooked greens and fried potatoes.

A boulder on the Setauket Village Green, above, features two plaques. On one side local soldiers who lost their lives in World War I are recognized. On the other, area soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II. Photo by Beverly C. Tyler

By Beverly C. Tyler

In a proclamation made May 24, 2017, President Donald Trump (R) shared his sentiments about Memorial Day.

“Memorial Day is our Nation’s solemn reminder that freedom is never free,” the proclamation reads. “It is a moment of collective reflection on the noble sacrifices of those who gave the last measure of devotion in service of our ideals and in the defense of our Nation. On this ceremonious day, we remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights.”

Veterans march in the 2017 Memorial Day Parade in Setauket. File photo by Rita J. Egan

This year Memorial Day is celebrated Monday, May 28, a day to honor the men and women who served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice. On the Setauket Village Green is a boulder with plaques honoring two Setauket men who did not return from World War I. The boulder was placed there in 1919 to honor them. On Sept. 1, 1919, a celebration, parade and memorial services were conducted at the new East Setauket memorial and then, at the conclusion of the parade, on the Setauket Village Green.

The two who did not return were memorialized at the ceremony on the Village Green at the end of the parade as reported by the Port Jefferson Times. “With the service men in uniform standing stiffly at attention and the civilians with bared heads, the entire assemblage united in singing ‘America’ … The Rev. T.J. Elms then dedicated the rock to the memory of the Setauket boys who died in the war — Raymond Wishart and Harry Golden … Mrs. Wishart received a medal for her son and Mr. Golden for his boy.”

The massive boulder erected on the Setauket Village Green was brought from Strong’s Neck and the plaque was designed by the well-known artist William de Leftwich Dodge who painted the murals on New York history that are in the state capitol in Albany.

“With the service men in uniform standing stiffly at attention and the civilians with bared heads, the entire assemblage united in singing ‘America’”

— Port Jefferson Times, Sept. 1, 1919

Private Raymond Wishart, son of postmaster and Mrs. Andrew Wishart, was born Sept. 10, 1893, and he died in France Aug. 23, 1918. His remains were returned to this country and were buried in the Caroline Church of Brookhaven graveyard on a Sunday in July 1921.

Harry Golden is remembered by his nephew Sam Golden. “He was a sergeant in charge of the mules,” Sam recalled. “His unit was attacked, and he was killed. He was 28 years old when he died, and he’s buried there in France.”

On the opposite side of the rock is a plaque that was placed there after World War II. It reads, “1941–1945 — In memory of Clifford J. Darling, Henry P. Eichacker, Francis S. Hawkins, David Douglas Hunter, Orlando B. Lyons, Anthony R. Matusky, Edward A. Pfeiffer [and] William E. Weston of the United States Armed Forces who gave their lives in World War II.” A new plaque was later added to honor Chris Brunn who died in Vietnam in 1969.

This year the Memorial Day ceremony will take place on the Setauket Village Green at 10:30 a.m. May 28 with the amassed flags of the Three Village veterans and community organizations as well as village and town officials and dignitaries. This will be followed by the parade from the Setauket Village Green to the East Setauket Veterans Memorial on Route 25A and Shore Road, followed by the Memorial Day ceremony in East Setauket.

Beverly C. Tyler is Three Village Historical Society historian and author of books available from the society at 93 North Country Road, Setauket. For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.tvhs.org.

Communities from across Suffolk County gathered on a wet Monday in support of the men and women who served our country to commemorate Memorial Day.

 

Elected officials, religious leaders, volunteers and residents gathered at the Long Island State Veterans Home on the campus of Stony Brook University May 26 to give thanks to a roomful of United States military veterans. The annual ceremony, which includes a color guard, firing detail and wreath laying, honors the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country — whose brothers and sisters in arms reside at the home on campus.

The Long Island State Veterans Home is dedicated to serving the more than 250,000 veterans who live on Long Island. Opened 26 years ago, the facility’s relationship with Stony Brook University’s medical department has been a winning combination for the care of veterans — providing skilled nursing services that many veterans wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

Veterans who fought in Vietnam, Korea and even World War II sat together in the home’s Multipurpose Room, some of them tearful as singer Lee Ann Brill performed moving renditions of “Amazing Grace” and Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Marine Corps veteran Edward Kiernan read “In Flanders Fields,” a famous war memorial poem written during World War I. Korean War veteran Richard Seybold was honorary bearer of the wreath.

“Every minute, of every hour, of every day, Americans enjoy the blessings of a peace-loving nation — blessings protected by the selfless service of men and women in uniform,” Fred Sganga, executive director of the veterans home, said to the crowd. “The America we know would not be the same were it not for the men and women we honor on Memorial Day … a single day during which we honor the spirit of all those who died in service to our nation, but whom we continue to remember and honor in our hearts.”

Stressing the holiday means much more than a three-day weekend, Sganga recognized the collective shift in thinking when it comes to Memorial Day.

“In recent years,” he said, “a new awareness of the sacrifices our military members are making is emerging, becoming an ingrained part of our American experience.”

U.S. State Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who delivered the keynote address, read excerpts from President Ronald Reagan’s (R) 1984 address commemorating the 40th anniversary of D-Day. LaValle prefaced by saying, “Whether you served in the second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War or Gulf War, these words apply to you.”

“President Reagan said, ‘Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here … you were young the day you took these cliffs, some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? … It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love. All of you loved liberty, all of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew people of your countries were behind you.’”

LaValle ended his address by thanking the veterans in attendance for their service.

“On behalf of the Senate and majority leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport), we really appreciate what you do and we try each and every day to make sure this veterans home is everything that you would want it to be,” LaValle said. “We all say thank you.”

To learn more about the Long Island State Veterans Home, visit www.listateveteranshome.org.

Scenes from Greenlawn's Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 11. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.

For anyone planning to attend the Greenlawn Memorial Day ceremony May 29, this year’s event promises to be a unique one.

After a joint effort between the Greenlawn American Legion Post 1244, the Greenlawn Fire Department and Huntington Town, the Greenlawn monument located across from Greenlawn Park was refurbished.

According to the legion post, the monument was originally dedicated as a memorial to Greenlawn residents who fought in World War I. It was then rededicated in 1960 as a monument to “all those who made the supreme sacrifice.” The landmark has been in its current location since 1996 at the corner of Pulaski Road and Broadway in Greenlawn.

The original World War I plaque and the 1960 dedication plaque have been refinished to their original conditions, and four smaller plaques have been added to the sides of the monument, commemorating those who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the current Global War on Terror. A new eagle will also replace the monument’s existing eagle, which is a smaller one donated by the fire department after the original bronze eagle was stolen. The monument has also been moved several feet forward so it’s easier for residents to see the plaques on the back of the monument.

Bob Santo, public relations chairman for the Greenlawn post, said the work for this project started a year ago, and it was completed thanks to a team effort.

“It was important to our group because that’s the location we celebrate Veterans Day and Memorial Day,” Santo said in a phone interview. “But it’s also a focal point of the community, and we wanted to bring it up to date and make it look great again.”

Huntington Councilman Mark Cuth-
bertson (D) said he was approached with the idea from the post and the fire department after the previous year’s Veterans Day ceremony.

“It was my honor and privilege in assisting the A.L. Post 1244 in this important endeavor,” he said in a statement. “I would like to commend Dennis Madden, commander of Post 1244, and Bill Irving of the Greenlawn Fire Department for their dedication and commitment to our nation’s veterans and community.”

A few days prior to the monument’s unveiling, a Purple Heart will be sealed into the base of the monument in honor of all those who were killed or wounded in all of America’s conflicts. In addition, a National Defense Ribbon will be included in honor of all who have worn a United States service uniform.

“I’m very happy with how everything came together,” former post commander Dennis Madden said in a phone interview. “It was important to get this done because this is a monument to all of the people who have fought for this country.”

Bill Irving said this project came together thanks to the teamwork and unity of the post and the fire department.

“This was a true partnership. We did this together for the right reasons,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s important to us to support our veterans in any way we can. This is my way of saying thank you to our veterans for all they have done.”

Residents can come see the unveiling after the Memorial Day parade Monday morning, which starts at 9 a.m., just prior to the annual Memorial Day ceremony.

A fire broke out early on Memorial Day on Leeward Court, in the Highlands condominiums in uptown Port Jefferson.

The Port Jefferson Fire Department and Port Jefferson Village fire marshal were on the scene of the blaze in the early hours of the morning.

Long Islanders came together on Memorial Day to remember all the people throughout American history who gave their lives for their country. Events were held on May 30 across Suffolk County, with neighbors using wreaths, flags and rifle shots to pay tribute to the fallen heroes.

Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes

By Alex Petroski

An idea that started as a seed about 15 years ago has sprouted into a full-blown tri-yearly tradition at North Shore Heritage Park in Mount Sinai.

The Parade of Flags, which is the brainchild of Mount Sinai resident Fred Drewes, takes place three times a year on Memorial Day in May, Independence Day on July 4 and Veterans Day in November. The first Parade of Flags was on July 4, 2010. The retired biology and environmental science professor created the event to promote national pride, teach kids about history, recognize those who have served our nation and help to express a “sense of country.”

Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes
Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes

The parade occurs on the Avenue of America, which is a few hundred feet of the nearly one-mile perimeter of the park. The avenue features approximately 100 flags on parade days, which includes flags from all 50 states arranged in the order of when they ratified the Constitution, flags for United States territories, previous versions of the American flag, flags of U.S. armed forces and many more. Signs that provide information about when the state joined the Union, state mottos and pictures of state coins and symbols accompany the flags. The avenue is also lined by each state’s official tree. The flags are assembled in the morning on parade days by volunteers just before 9 a.m., and then retired at 4 p.m.

“When people walk through the flags they just revel in the feeling and it also lifts spirits,” Drewes said in a phone interview last week.

Drewes has created something truly special, though he often attributes credit to the Heritage Trust, a nonprofit organization responsible for overseeing the park, and other volunteers like the Boy Scouts and community members who make the event possible three times a year.

“This is all something that Fred created — he never really gives himself much credit,” said Paul Dodorico, a Mount Sinai resident who volunteers with his wife Carol to help assemble and retire the flags, in a recent interview. “Seeing the flags on a sunny day with a little breeze —it’s just beautiful.”

Dodorico added that it’s important for kids and adults alike to learn and remember why holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day are celebrated and indicated that Drewes has established an enjoyable and visually memorable way for community members to do just that.

A guided tour of the avenue begins at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day.

The park features some other patriotic imagery like the Court of America, which is a sitting area with benches, plaques with quotes from presidents and other famous citizens and a rock garden in the shape of the continental United States. The rock garden is full of symbolic rocks, plants and flowers that are native to the region in America where they lay in the corresponding region of the garden. Blocks featuring the names of all 44 U.S. presidents and the years they held office border the garden.

A scavenger hunt will be available to help visitors interpret the representations found in the landscape and Parade of Flags.

The landscape, flags, plaques, plants, flowers and everything else that makes the avenue and park as a whole special were donated and arranged by volunteers.

Bob Koch of Koch Tree Services in Mount Sinai, who has had a hand in many features of the park including donating the state trees lining the avenue, also praised Drewes for his vision and hard work. “It really pays tribute to our country,” said Koch in an interview Monday. “It makes me appreciate being here.”

’Seeing the flags on a sunny day with a little breeze — it’s just beautiful.’
—Paul Dodorico

Drewes has kept a visitor’s book containing testimonials from people who attended the Parade of Flags over the years. Accolades including “A wonderful experience to share with my kids!,” “Thanks for the history,” “Well done. A beautiful tribute to our country,” and “A remarkable display, schools should visit,” jump from the pages.

Drewes said those thinking about attending the parade on May 30 should “expect to spend time and learn about the growth of our country and learn about the symbols and representations of states and territories of the United States.”

The 7th annual Memorial Day Parade of Flags will be held at Heritage Park, 633 Mount Sinai-Coram Road, Mount Sinai, on May 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Inclement weather cancels. For further information, call 631-509-0882 or visit www.msheritagetrust.org.

Other parades around Suffolk County

The following Memorial Day parades and services will be held in remembrance and to honor our nation’s fallen war heroes:

Calverton: Calverton National Cemetery, 210 Princeton Blvd., Calverton will hold a Memorial Day service on May 30 at 1 p.m. For further information, call 631-727-5410.

Centereach: The Centereach Memorial Day Parade will be held on May 29 at 1 p.m. beginning at the corner of Middle Country Road and Henry Road and ending at the VFW Hall Post 4927 on Horseblock Road. Memorial service to follow. Call 631-585-7390.

Centerport: The Centerport Fire Department will host a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 starting at 10:30 a.m. The parade will run from Harrison Drive to Park Circle. For further information, call 631-351-3012.

Commack: VFW Post 9263 will sponsor the Commack Memorial Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. The parade steps off from the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Larkfield Road with a ceremony at Cannon Park to follow. Call 631-368-9463.

East Northport: The Knights of Columbus will lead a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 12:15 p.m. from Clay Pitts and Larkfield Road north on Pulaski Road to John Walsh Memorial Park. Questions? Call 631-262-1891.

East Setauket: The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3054, will host the annual Memorial Day Parade in East Setauket on May 30 at 11 a.m. The parade will follow the route along Main Street and 25A. Opening ceremonies will be held on the Old Village Green opposite Emma S. Clark Library. Closing ceremonies will be held at Memorial Park on Route 25A. Call 631-751-5541.

Farmingdale: Farmingdale Village will hold a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. The parade kicks off at the corner of Thomas Powell Boulevard and Bethpage Road and proceeds south on Main Street to Village Hall. A ceremony will follow. Call 516-249-0093.

Farmingville: The Farmingville Residents Association will host a Memorial Parade on May 30 at 11 a.m. kicking off on Horseblock Road just west of Granny Road and commencing at the memorial by the Nicolls Road bridge. Call 631-880-7996.

Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes
Visitors enjoy the annual Parade of Flags at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo from Fred Drewes

Greenlawn: The Greenlawn Fire Department will host a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 9 a.m. The parade will run from East Maple Road, south on Broadway to Greenlawn Memorial Park at the corner of Pulaski Road and Broadway. Call 261-9103.

Huntington: VFW Nathan Hale Post 1469 will host a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 11:30 a.m. The parade will run from the Big H shopping center north on New York Avenue to West Carver Street to Green Street to Main Street to Stewart Avenue. Call 631-421-0535.

Kings Park: American Legion Post 944 of Kings Park will sponsor the 92nd annual Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 9 a.m. stepping off at the RJO School at the corner of Old Dock Road and Church Street and proceed west on Old Dock Road, east on Main Street to the Veterans Plaza at the corner of Church Street and Route 25 for flag ceremonies. Call 631-269-4140.

Melville: The Melville Fire Department will lead a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. stepping off at Bertucci’s on Route 110, south of the Northern State Parkway and will proceed to march on Route 110 to the fire house at 531 Sweet Hollow Road. Refreshments will be served. Call 631-423-2635.

Northport: Northport American Legion Post 694 will host a Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. The parade will run from the north end of Laurel Avenue to Main Street to Northport Village Park. Call 631-261-4424.

Smithtown: This year’s Memorial Day Parade in Smithtown will be held on May 30 at noon from the corner of Main Street and Route 111, continuing west on Main Street to Town Hall, with a ceremony to follow. Call 631-360-7620 for additional information.

Sound Beach: The Sound Beach Civic Association will hold Memorial Day services at the Sound Beach Veterans Memorial Park on New York Avenue on May 30 at noon with a wreath ceremony. Call 631-744-6952 for more information.

Stony Brook: On May 30 at 9 a.m., VFW Post 3054 and American Legion Irving Hart Post 1766 will host a Memorial Day Parade in Stony Brook beginning at the Village Center, east on Main Street to Veterans Memorial Park. Ceremony to follow. Call 631-751-5541 for more information.

St. James: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 395 will host the St. James Memorial Day Parade on May 30 at 10 a.m. The parade will step off at the intersection of Lake and Woodlawn Avenues and march to St. James Elementary School for a ceremony. For further information, call 631-862-7965.

by -
0 897

Sound Beach residents observed Memorial Day and remembered the men and women lost at war on Monday. The Sound Beach Civic Association led a service at the Sound Beach Veterans Memorial Park in honor of their neighbors — William Binder, World War II; Stewart Carroll, World War II; Joseph DeGrennaro, Vietnam; Bruce Kerndl, Vietnam; Charles Prchal, Vietnam; Kerry Hein, Desert Storm; and Peter Hahn, Iraq — who died in the line of duty. Veterans and those still serving were also honored.

By Chris Setter

The Northport community held its annual Memorial Day parade and remembrance ceremony on Monday, May 25. The American Legion Post 694 of Northport hosted the event, which included participants from Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, high school cadets, World War II veterans and more.