National Poppy Day 2018
The tradition of wearing a poppy dates back to 1920, when it became the memorial flower of The American Legion Family.
The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed by those who fought and those who continue to fight for our country following World War I. It was popularized by the publication of the wartime poem In Flanders Fields. Written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines in World War I, the poem honors soldiers killed in battle.
The American Legion led the charge of having Congress designate the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day®, a tradition found in many countries around the world. National Poppy Day® encourages all Americans to wear a red poppy to honor the fallen and support the living heroes who have worn our nation’s uniform.
Field of Flags 2018
There will be a ground-breaking and commemorative ceremony for the North Merrick Field of Flags on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at 3:15 pm at the Harold D. Fayette School, 1057 Merrick Avenue. After the short ceremony, boy scouts and girl scout volunteers will help to put up the flags. There will be 100 flags all together.
North Merrick School District would like very much for the American Legion Post 1282 to participate in the ceremony and give a brief speech to commemorate the flags being sponsored in honor of loved ones who served. The flags will fly through Memorial Day and Flag Day until the end of the school year.
Merrick’s Memorial Day 2018 Grand Marshal, Louis G. Saraceni
A young, Lousi G. Saraceni
Louis Saraceni was born in 1941 in Orsogna, Italy, a small town on the Adriatic Coast near a tall mountain, La Maiella. When the German’s occupied the town because of its proximity to the mountain, Lou’s family had to leave their home and live in a grotto. When the war was over and they went back to their house, everything was gone.
In 1955 when Louis was fourteen, he and his father immigrated to the United States. They lived with a relative who sponsored them in Astoria, Queens, where many of their other townspeople settled, until they could afford their own apartment. They worked hard for three years so they could send for his mother and sister.
Lou was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1963. He trained in Fort Polk, LA and was later sent to Fort Riley, KS. He had to learn to eat hominy grits instead of his mother’s homemade pasta and tomato sauce. It was while he was home on leave that he met his future wife, Mattia, at a dance at the Cresthaven Country Club in Whitestone, Queens. They both loved dancing to Latin American music. In the spring of 1965 he was deployed with the 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One) to Viet Nam. They were the first to land there. With the aid of helicopters, they partook in search and destroy operations and cleared the peninsula so that the rest of the American troops could land safely. They were constantly barraged with sniper fire.
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