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Vets, fallen soldiers honored at annual Memorial Day breakfast

Lest we forget.

State Senator Marty Golden held his annual Memorial Day breakfast to honor fallen soldiers and veterans and their families.

The ceremony, held on Thursday, May 25 at the Bay Ridge Manor, featured Golden honoring several veterans with awards and was attended by representatives of distinguished organizations from all over the borough.

“Each year, I’m proud and humbled to host this event,” said Golden. “As we approach Memorial Day, we gather to pay tribute to the men and women who have put their lives on the line to assure that we remain a symbol of freedom throughout the year. Everyone in this room deserves our gratitude and respect for their services for this great city, state and nation.”

Attendees appreciated the gesture. “It’s a great tradition,” said Vietnam veteran and member of Blind Veterans of American Joseph Pedalino. “It’s a small token of remembrance and very nice for Senator Golden to host. I certainly appreciate it.”

“Memorial Day of course represents the day that all veterans should remember our fallen brothers and sisters who have passed away. I think the country remembers all of us and the sacrifice that all men and women have done in this service,” added Vietnam Veteran Daniel McNally.

Before Golden brought up the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame honorees, he discussed the significance of the day. “We remember those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country and to us,” he said. “While we must never forget their sacrifice, we must also make sure the future generations understand and appreciate that it’s our veterans that make it possible for us to live in the greatest nation in the world.”

Honorees included World War II Frank Oliva who died on this past year. He was on the Honor Flight in 2015.

Linda Lombardi, Oliva’s niece, was on hand to accept his State Resolution and Liberty Award. “Uncle Frank was a proud World War II veteran,” she said. “The day he took the Honor Flight, he said it was one of the happiest days of his life. It is an amazing event and please every veteran take it. Thank you all for this honor.”

“I represent Frank’s parish family,” added Monsignor Kevin Noone. “He was at the 6:45 a.m. mass every morning.  No matter what the weather or his age, he’d be there everyday. He was a proud veteran and man of faith.”

In addition, U.S. Army Vietnam veteran and founding member of Rolling Thunder Chapter 1 New York Michael Palo received a Certificate of Appreciation and Stephen Neftleberg, veteran of the United States Air Force and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was inducted into the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame.

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