The “Greatest Generation” is rapidly leaving the stage. Therefore, it was special having two living links to that bygone era at the Carle Place Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11. Nick Pasquarella of Valley Stream, 95, and Marvin Levine of Carle Place, 92, are two of the seven members of the Carle Place American Legion Post 1718 who served in WWII.
Post Commander Al Piscitelli introduced the two men, who received a warm applause from the large gathering at Veterans Memorial Park. He also joked that Pasquarella had recently beaten him in their bowling competition, scoring a 204. And that’s with no handicap.
Pasquarella, a 39-year member, said he served in the Pacific War as a heavy equipment operator. He did the “island hopping” from New Guinea to Okinawa.
“That was enough world traveling for one lifetime,” he was told.
“You have no idea,” replied Pasquarella, who retired as a heavy equipment operator. “People talk about D-Day, but I saw three D-Days, two in the Philippines and one in Okinawa.”
When asked, “What did you take away from your time in the service?” he replied, “I wish I wasn’t there.”
Levine agreed with his colleague, adding, “I was in a safe place,” being stationed in Texas during the war.
Levine, a 35-year post member, said he is a retired machine designer.
Piscitelli, who served in the Army from 1954-56, read the names of the other WWII veterans who could not make the ceremony: William Braithwaite (66-year member), Michael Dangelo (17), Louis Cianca (63), Salvatore Russo (52) and John Shedel (50).
He noted that the post was founded in 1948 and at one point had about 500 members. Today it had less than 60, but it was still active.
Chaplain Helmut Walter made note of those who sacrificed “for a better nation and the generations yet unborn.” He also prayed for a “world where nations may resolve their differences by peaceful means.”
Michael Giambone, Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, read poems written by schoolchildren to honor veterans and made note that this was the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War as well as the 245th anniversary of the formation of the Marine Corps.
“On this day we stand united in respect,” he said. “On this day we honor the willingness to serve. On this day we remember the sacrifice. On this day we thank all veterans.”
Piscitelli also noted that it was the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.
Guest speaker and Town of North Hempstead Clerk Wayne Wink said Veterans Day also commemorates “those who sacrificed their time, their youth, their energy and in many cases their health and even their lives, for the betterment of our great society.”
After alluding to the political divide, Wink observed, “I hope that today, like every day, Americans on all side, throughout the political spectrum, join together to realize that the things that bring us together are more important than things that separate us. And all those who sacrificed—their sacrifice is the reason why we can disagree.”