Common Sense: “You are not forgotten”

The Brooklyn Conservative Party, as it has done for the past 28 years, on Memorial Day presented the New York City Parks Department with a POW/MIA flag to be flown over Look Out Point on the historic flagpole at 81st Street and Shore Road.  The flagpole was donated through collections and donations made by thousands of Brooklyn schoolchildren over 90 years ago. And, in fact, the shrubbery at this location was donated in memory of several local men who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.

For the past 10 or so years, the Conservative Party has been joined by members of the Boy Scouts and their families currently well led by troop leader Roland Roberts.  The boys make the actual presentation of the flag after a member reads a short Memorial Day poem. This year’s poem was appropriately entitled “The American Hero” by Roger Robicheau.  It begins, “The American Hero always comes through.”  Truer words I do not know!

Congressmember Dan Donovan and Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis made remarks.  Conservative Party State Chairperson Mike Long, who is a Marine veteran, was also in attendance.

Since Memorial Day 2014, 14 American military personnel from the Vietnam War have been announced as accounted for, the last being  U.S. Army Sergeant Rodney Griffin previously listed as missing in Cambodia.

The number of Americans now listed by the Department of Defense as returned and identified since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 956. Including the 63 U.S. personnel recovered before the end of the war, the total accounted for is 1,019. That leaves 1,627 still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War which includes Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and those lost at sea in the region.

There are many thousands of missing soldiers, sailors and airmen from Korea and World War II with once again many lost at sea. In fact, the Defense Department recently announced that using DNA information only recently made available, it will attempt to identify over 300 sailors from the Battleship Oklahoma that were lost at Pearl Harbor.

This is a clear reflection of our strong belief and very solemn commitment that we as Americans honor and do not forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that the freedoms we hold so high remain secure.

The POW/MIA Flag says in bold letters that “You Are Not Forgotten.”  In holding this ceremony each year, the Conservative Party and the Boy Scouts give meaning to these four words that mean so much to the families of those who have given all.


The Conservative Party followed the ceremony by marching in the Memorial Day Parade, American’s oldest, along Third Avenue.  This year’s parade was restored to its original length, beginning at 78th Street and running to Cannonball Park.  It’s good they did extend the parade because literally thousands came out to enjoy it with many of the spectators filling the sidewalks along the added blocks.

Howie Dunn was the honoree. From his service throughout the entirety of World War II through his years of service to the veterans community, I can hardly think of a better honoree.  He, as Larry Morrish often says, is a true community treasure.

There were excellent bands. We marched behind Bishop Kearney which made Fran Vella-Marrone, our party’s vice chairperson and a Kearney graduate, quite happy.

I think the Democratic Party marched behind us.

I heard Congressmember Dan Donovan remark to State Senator Marty Golden and Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis just how impressed he was with the community’s strong patriotic spirit and turnout. Almost in unison they responded, “It’s Bay Ridge. That is what you will come to expect.” And I agree!

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