Common Sense: Let us never forget

The Kings County Memorial Day Parade was simply awesome. The line of march was one of the longest in years with literally thousands of spectators lining Third Avenue enjoying the bands and cheering the marchers.

The Gold Star Mothers were the grand marshals. I can hardly think of a more worthy group. These moms who wear the distinctive gold star pin have given to the defense of our nation and protection of our freedoms their sons and daughters. They could not give more. Always honor and respect these moms.

Our elected officials including Congressmember Michael Grimm, State Senator Marty Golden, Assemblymembers Nicole Malliotakis and Alec Brook-Krasny as well as Councilmember Vincent Gentile all participated. So did the Kings County Conservative Party and Bay Ridge Democrats.

Domenic Recchia had individuals handing out campaign literature as they attempted to sign people up to vote. Considering the overwhelmingly positive reception the Conservative Party received, the liberal Recchia group may have found the wrong parade to conduct a registration drive. Live and learn.

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The Conservative Party’s 31st consecutive POW/MIA ceremony held at Look Out Point at 81st Street and Shore Road was very well attended. The party for the past several years has been joined by the St. Anselm’s Boy Scout troop which boasts one of the largest numbers of Eagle Scouts of any troops in the nation. This year two Eagle Scouts were in attendance.

There are 1,642 individuals who remain missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. This is six fewer than last year due to successful efforts in identifying the remains of a handful of individuals that had been located and returned. The process of identifying remains is painstaking and can take many months.

The last soldier identified was Captain Douglas Ferguson, USAF, shot down over Laos on December 30, 1969. His remains were recovered on April 13, 2013 and identified on February 14, 2014.

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We are seeing more and more homes in Dyker Heights enclosed in stainless steel bars on all floors and heavy stainless steel security doors. I find this trend extremely disturbing. The community remains as safe as ever. The new protections seem to appear only on recently purchased homes and reflect a different cultural view on security. Homes like this have existed in great numbers in the Sunset Park area for many years and are really not positive additions to any community.

The homes themselves look horrible and, worse yet, they make the whole area around them appear trashy. And, frankly, instead of offering additional security protection, they more than likely attract unwanted attention from potential burglars who figure these homes contain the greatest number of valuables.

Community outreach by civic and government groups as well as elected officials explaining the disadvantages of the heavy security from both an aesthetic as well as security perspective is necessary, or we will be confronted with large sections of our community looking like safety deposit box holding cells.

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