Warm weather made for a  great turnout at the third annual Pearl Harbor Day Patriotic Tree Lighting on Sunday, December 6th, 2015.  Frank Bailey read the opening prayer, Brendan Bailey read the Presidential Proclamation and Tom Talbot read the VFW Message.  NY State Senator Ken LaValle, SC Legislator Sarah Anker  and Assemblyman Palumbo’s Rep Tom Neppell addressed the crowd. Virginia Eagle, wife of the late Pearl Harbor survivor Jim Eagle, threw the big switch to illuminate the hundreds of red, white and blue lights and big star adorning the tree. MIFD members placed Christmas wreaths at each of the seven Longwood Veterans monuments. Veterans and their family representatives in attendance were called forward to receive a deserved round of applause.  Tom Lyon read the Closing Prayer and everyone enjoyed the Christmas carols well supplied by sound guru and maestro Anthony Bocchimuzzo. Attendees also had a chance to add to the patriotic colored ornaments on the Tree of Remembrance, a new feature this year. As always, the afternoon concluded with the delicious generosity of Anthony Donofrio and Middle Island Pizza.

Longwood Alliance and MICA President Gail Lynch-Bailey opened the ceremony with these words:

“Since we last gathered at Bartlett Pond Park on Veterans Day, our world and our country have been shaken by terrible acts of violence by hateful terrorists. The events in Paris and San Bernardino remind us that we must be ever vigilant and ever thankful for the freedoms we enjoy and all those who serve to protect these freedoms. As debates rage on about gun control, borders, refugees and, most importantly, our national security, let us take solace in this gathering here today, in our ability to come together, in this beautiful place, on this beautiful day, to Remember and Give Thanks.

Today, December 6th, is the 150th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 13th Amendment, the Abolition of Slavery.

Tomorrow, December 7, 2015 is the 74th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor – the “Day of Infamy” that propelled the US into WWII and created the Greatest Generation.”