Manhasset’s American Legion hosts Veterans Day ceremony Saturday

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Manhasset American Legion Post 304 has been hosting Veterans Day celebrations since World War II. (Photo courtesy of James T. Brooks)

A longstanding tradition returns to Mary Jane Davies Green in Manhasset this weekend.

Manhasset American Legion Post 304 will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, honoring both living and dead veterans across the area.

American Legion Vice Commander James T. Brooks of Manhasset said the group has been hosting the annual ceremony since the end of World War II.

Brooks said the ceremony opens by recalling the purpose of the holiday, which was established originally as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, but was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is used to honor all past and present veterans, while Memorial Day in May is for veterans who have died and Armed Forces Day, also in May, is for those currently serving in the U.S. armed forces.

A wreath is laid upon the memorial in Mary Jane Davies Green while a bagpiper plays “Amazing Grace.” Then the flag, flying at half-staff, is raised while Manhasset High School students play Taps, a traditional bugle call played at dusk.

Post Commander Peter Killian finishes the ceremony with a speech, Brooks said, before closing the event with the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

“It’s a reminder that we still have servicemen and women still out there. It’s not a memorial service,” Brooks said. “The purpose of the day is to recognize veterans, but we do both during the ceremony.”

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