This past Saturday, State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, hosted a free pancake breakfast at in Seaford to show his gratitude to veterans in the area who have sacrificed so much of their lives for their country.
Veterans from all over the state senator’s district on Nassau County's South Shore were invited to a hot pancake breakfast, an event that Fuschillo described as, “long overdue” on his part. “These veterans have touched my life with their commitment to their communities and their country,” said Fuschillo.
The Wantagh American Legion Bagpipe Band kicked the event off by ushering in a color guard made up of boy scouts from Troop 96 in Wantagh.
“Part of the reason we do things like this is to teach the boys a lesson in service to others and a respect for what these men and women have given,” said Bruce Brickmeier, troop leader for Troop 96.
Robbie Rosen, one of this year’s American Idol top 24 contestants, and Merrick resident, contributed to the event as well singing the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Aside from spending the morning mingling with veterans and listening to their stories, Fuschillo also took some time to recognize two particular individuals whom he had previously nominated to the New York State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame: George A. Jones and Tom Riordan. Jones, who was part of the Harlem Hell Fighters served in both World War II and Korea, and said he remembers that he, “couldn’t wait to be old enough to join [the Hell Fighters] and that was in 1939.” Jones also added that he’s never had any regrets about his decision to serve his country.
Senator Fuschillo said was more than happy with the turnout for the breakfast and how the overall event went. “Serving breakfast to veterans who served our country was a small token of appreciation for everything these local heroes have done for us," he said. "Each of these veterans deserves our gratitude and respect for the sacrifices they made in defense of our freedom. I’m extremely pleased we were able to say ‘thank you’ to so many of them today.”
“The great thing [about the breakfast] was the camaraderie between yourself and your fellow veterans to defeat the enemy,” said Wantagh Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1273 member Russ Bastin, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1943 to 1946. “It makes you feel so thankful that someone recognizes the sacrifice you made for your country, that you haven’t been forgotten and that the spirit of America lives on.”