LIers celebrate Memorial Day holiday at parades, beachesBy EMI ENDO
June 1, 2010
Thousands of Long Islanders went to community parades and visited cemeteries to honor soldiers and veterans on a bright and sunny Memorial Day, while others headed to beaches with family and friends to picnic and swim.
Local officials and paradegoers reflected on the meaning behind the national holiday: the sacrifice made by veterans. Greenport Mayor David Nyce saluted those "who gave their lives so we can sit around talking about such mundane things as how beautiful the weather is."
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said he was unshaven and jet-lagged when he showed up at his local Memorial Day ceremony.
"I was introduced, but didn't get much of a reaction. Then he said I was just back from Afghanistan and that got their attention," King said after the event.
"I think Americans do identify with the fight, even if they don't support it. They have a feel for the people who are there, who are doing the job," he said.
King, who had gotten off the plane just hours before, said he had not been in Afghanistan for more than two years and he wanted to get up to speed with several important votes on homeland security issues coming up.
"And it's a reality check," he added. "People felt sorry for me because I was jet-lagged after the long flight. These guys are sitting out in the mountains for months. It puts things in perspective."