Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano joined hundreds of veterans and their families this week, at a ceremony honoring those whose names are inscribed on the Wall of Honor at Veterans Plaza.
Later that day, he joined women from the local unit of the American Legion Auxiliary, to dedicate a monument they built, in honor of the members who continue to dedicate their time to improving the lives of returning servicemen and women and their families.
Speaking at the monument in Eisenhower Park on Saturday, County Executive Mangano said “This Wall was built for us to remember and honor the brave members of our military who risked, and many of whom gave, their lives in order to protect our freedoms.”
“This wall is open to all those who have served our great country and who were honorably discharged – whether they served during wartime or peace time,” he told the hundreds gathered. “Today, we welcome and honor veterans and we welcome their families. On behalf of a grateful nation, I thank you for your service and dedication.”
More than 8,200 names have been added to the Wall of Honor, since the Monument Committee – and Nassau County Veterans Monument Fund – was established in 1991, chairman Nicholas Graziano said.
The committee – made up of dedicated veterans – formed this private organization to fund the POW and Vietnam memorials there. Mangano thanked the founding members who were present, as well as chairman Graziano.
Last year, County Executive Mangano declared Nassau a “Purple Heart County,” to recognize all those who “shed blood in the fight to protect freedom and democracy.”
“Our servicemen and women leave their homes and risk their own lives in order to protect the freedoms that we hold so dear. They deserve all assistance that we can give them and that’s exactly what our veterans will get here in Nassau County on my watch,” he said.
Since taking office in 2010, Mangano has enhanced services for Nassau’s 100,000 veterans, such as creating affordable housing for them; and offering free transportation to the Northport VA Hospital and the East Meadow Clinic.
The Mangano administration established 42 homes, located on Mitchel Field, to provide affordable housing for veterans and their families and an additional 18 homes for active-duty military personnel.
Mangano invited those gathered Saturday, to the annual POW-MIA Candle Light Vigil in Eisenhower Park on Friday, September 18th at 11:00a.m. Immediately following the Vigil, the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency will hold its 5th annual Veterans BBQ. Last summer, they served over 2,000 veterans who enjoyed a day of music and food. The BBQ runs from 12pm-4pm. at Eisenhower Park, Field 6A.
Also, twice a year, the agency –along with the UVO – hosts a Veteran Stand Down, which provides food, clothing and access to valuable services for veterans in need.
This year’s Stand Downs will be held Tuesday, July 14th from 10am-2pm, at the American Legion, 160 Marvin Avenue, Hempstead; and Tuesday, Nov 24th from 10am-2pm – location to be determined.
County Executive Mangano added at the ceremony, that he was truly “humbled to be in the presence of so many great men and women.”