Though disappointed at the breaking of a longstanding neighborhood tradition, the Post did welcome residents to an intimate, outdoor observance ceremony on Sunday.
“The Legion's primary mission is to remind the community about the service of our veterans and promote Americanism,” said post advocate Michael Arcati “The ceremony was part of our duty.”
The commemoration took place at the Remsen Family Cemetery, a small triangular plot on Alderton Street and Trotting Course Lane. Now designated a historic landmark, the patch of land is the burial ground for Revolutionary War veteran Colonel Jeromus Remsen and members of his family.
The Remsens were some of the earliest settlers to what is now Forest Hills after immigrating from Germany in the 17th century.
Representatives of Gold Star Families, the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary presented three memorial wreaths during Sunday’s ceremony.
A moment of silence was held in remembrance of Post members John Burns, George Mason and George Adams, who passed away in the past year. Mason and Adams were lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, while Burns passed away last summer.
Arcati says that Burns “embodied the spirit of the Post,” having served on the Color Guard and marching with the flag down Metropolitan Avenue up until his last Memorial Day Parade in 2019.
This year, it was First Vice Commander Pat Conley who led the team to place the flags the day before hoping to bring smiles and reassurance to neighbors that the community will persevere.