Remembering the fallen at St. Athanasius Church

Two fallen heroes and their brethren were memorialized at a special Mass held on May 25 at Bensonhurst’s St. Athanasius Church to honor the country’s Gold Star Families whose sons and daughters died while defending our country.

The event was organized by Amity Post 791; the guests of honor were Julie Schrock, mother of Marine Cpl. Max W. Donahue, and Miriam Montes de Oca, mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca. Both of their sons were killed in Afghanistan while serving our country.

Among those in attendance were veterans, family members, treasurer for The Amity Post 791 American Legion Howard Dunn, Councilmember Vincent Gentile, members of the Free and Accepted Masons of New York and wounded dogs with their handlers.

“It is incredibly important that we honor, support and continue to recognize the mothers whose sons and daughters served and died so that this world might be a better place in which to live,” said Gentile, who presented both Schrock and Montes de Oca with City Council citations.

“The community came together to show their support for the families on this Memorial Day weekend. It was our honor to be asked to attend a service of such magnitude,” said 3rd Kings Veterans Chairperson Joseph Burke. “Knowing the sacrifices these families have endured, allows each one of us to contemplate the love these men had for our country. Their sacrifice was not in vain and the community along with all the organizations in attendance showed their support and love for our fallen Americans.”

Monsignor David Cassato gave the eulogy during the Mass and spoke of the Marine Corps motto Semper Fidelis,” which means always faithful in Latin, explained Burke.

“For the family members of Marine Cpl. Max W. Donahue, Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca,the Wounded Warriors, the mother ofa fallen firefighter on 9/11 and all those in attendance,those words exemplified the sacrifice and dedication our troops and first responders exhibit every day,” said Burke. “Those wordsencapsulate the sentimentwe share with those who have paid with their lives for our country.”

“Gold Star Mothers are women who have literally borne the troops that have made the ultimate sacrifice. For them, the war doesn’t end,” added Gentile. “The love, sorrow and reverence for the American Gold Star Mothers prove that we are all connected, as one big family, together as Americans.”

The Mass was coordinated by community coordinator at The Fire Department Bureau of Operations, Lynda Thompson.

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