There is some value in the folks who tell us how to do things. We are most grateful, though, for the folks who truly lead the way and kindly invite us to come along.
There are many touching events that occur on Memorial Day. For roughly 30 years, the one in Syosset has been led by Gus Scutari, who counts himself exceptionally lucky to have survived a Kamikaze attack in World War II.
In Syosset, Memorial Day starts with a fairly large parade that brings out a significant community showing. The tribute event at the end features elected officials, religious leaders and, of course, key representatives of local veteran organizations. There is a rifle salute and exceptionally talented young singers that well-represent the quality of Syosset Schools' award-winning art programs. The entire community is then invited back to the local American Legion for refreshments sponsored by local businesses.
The hamlet also boasts two Boy Scout troops, one of which was proud to carry large flags, some of which were donated by the local VFW. They did this in honor of both the solemn occasion and our dear Gus, who has also long been an important part of local Eagle Courts of Honor.
Gus celebrated his 98th birthday last April. This year, he organized the event from his room at Cold Spring Hills nursing facility, which he is now sharing with his wife, Fran. We are grateful to the extended family and community that empower Gus to keep doing this, and who also made sure that Fran could join him.
While each loss remains in the hearts of those who loved them forever, this was a freshly poignant day for the hamlet as its close neighbor, Locust Valley, lost Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, aged 25, to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan this past April.
Thank you, Gus, thank you Syosset, and thank you to all who help us pay tribute to all who gave all. We are ever mindful of the tremendous weight every military family bears, and grateful for their service. May we endeavor to be true to our noble principles and to somehow be worthy of such great sacrifice.
You can read an article we wrote about Gus last year here.
There's also video of Gus, Fran and others from the Syosset Memorial Day Parade on our Facebook Page
Here's another article on the history of Memorial Day,
Did you know that one of the very first Memorial Day celebrations involved newly-freed black slaves undertaking an extraordinary effort to properly bury and otherwise honor over 260 Union Soldiers? We didn't!