Officers and members of the Brooklyn Council of the Veterans of Foreign Wars joined their Kings County Commander Gary Wasserman and Chaplain Father Edward King, the pastor of Holy Family Church, on the tip of the American Veterans Memorial Pier (69th Street Pier) in a memorial tribute to their fallen comrades at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The event marked the 75th anniversary of the horrific bombing attack on December 7, 1941 by the Imperial Japanese Navy and Air Force which led to World War II.
Former VFW Post Commander James Markson played Taps as Commander Wasserman tossed a memorial wreath into the waters of the Narrows. Area FDNY firefighters also gathered on the wharf to give their support for the event.
WWII Army veteran Thomas Gallegos, age 90, who served with the 11th Airborne Signal Company, also attended the solemn patriotic exercises.
We attended the tree lighting and blessing of the Nativity on the lawn of St. Patrick’s Church, 96th Street and Fourth Avenue. Later the same evening, the ISO Symphonic Band, founded by maestro Brian Worsdale, and the Brooklyn High School of the Arts Wind Ensemble, led by Conductor Stephen Hands, performed in concert inside the Aldo Bruschi school auditorium of the St. Patrick’s Catholic Academy.
Both musical contingents playing separately and then together turned in stellar performances. Worsdale paid tribute to the late Larry Morrish for helping him get a Yuletide performance venue for his band. He then dedicated his band’s version of Leroy Anderson’s famous “Sleigh Ride” in memory of Morrish. This year marks the 16th annual performance by the ISO Band at St. Patrick’s.
According to Tom McCarthy, president of the Bay Ridge Historical Society, he has buttonholed renown author and journalist Jonathan Alter as guest speaker at the December 21 society meeting at the Shore Hill Neighborhood Center, on 91st Street between Colonial Road and Shore Road, at 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the public. Alter is a three-time bestselling author, columnist for the Daily Beast and frequent contributor to NBC News.