North Hempstead celebrates Memorial Day

North Hempstead celebrates Memorial Day
Visitors enjoy a fireworks display at North Hempstead Beach Park. On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. (Photo by Steven Keehner)

Hundreds of people gathered at North Hempstead Beach Park to celebrate Memorial Day weekend Saturday.

Bad weather earlier in the day caused concerns and an imminent storm prompted the fireworks show to be moved up, but later on bright skies and warm weather made for a beautiful outing for residents.

“It’s always a special time here in the town when we’re able to honor and commemorate the veterans and the fallen heroes who fought to protect our freedom here in America, especially together here in person this year,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena.

A fireworks show by Santore Fireworks and musical entertainment by BonJourney, a Bon Jovi and Journey tribute band, were centerpieces of this year’s entertainment. Spectators could also grab a bite to eat from one of the many food trucks in attendance.

Honoring members of the United States Armed Services was at the forefront of the day. Local officials, including state Sen. Anna Kaplan, gave their thoughts in a special ceremony.

“It’s wonderful for us to stand here together and remember the sacrifices and the service of all the veterans, whether current or past or the sacrifices that their families have made,” she said. “We can’t thank them enough.”

The Pledge of Allegiance led by local Girl Scouts, a presentation of the flag and a rendition of “Taps” by community veterans, and a performance by the Nassau County Police Emerald Society Pipe Band were among the other highlights of this ceremony.

“Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and service to our country,” said Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte. “Thank you to all those past and present who have gotten our freedom and for your success.”

Dalimonte encouraged attendees to do something special for a veteran this weekend.

Other local leaders, such as Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman, highlighted his personal connection to the holiday. He expressed his gratitude as the son of a World War II veteran and the grandson of a World War I veteran.

“Thank you for joining us tonight to help us commemorate Memorial Day and to remember all of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to the country that we love so much,” he said.

Berman also took a moment to joke about the weather situation.

“This morning, I really didn’t know how to dress for this event, so I kind of dressed down expecting, well, maybe it might be the worst, but look at it now,” he said. “It’s so beautiful — the sun is always shining on North Hempstead. Thank you for coming out tonight to help us celebrate.”

Desena also mentioned that on Memorial Day, at noon and 6 p.m., local fire departments would sound their alarms across Nassau County, “so that we will all stop and remember.”

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