A Tribute To Those Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice
William Bradford Turner Post 265 of the American Legion will conduct its Memorial Day parade and ceremonies on Monday, May 28, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The parade will step off from Hilton Avenue and Tenth Street then make its way down Franklin Avenue before disbanding at the War Memorial on Seventh Street where keynote speakers will join residents in honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The Garden City Kiwanis Club is supporting and assisting the Post in this effort.
Grand Marshal Christopher Blume, an Army Veteran and past Commander of the William Bradford Turner Post, will lead members of American Legion Post 265 and its Auxiliary, who will join veterans of the Vietnam War, U.S. Marines, members of the U.S. Coast Guard and New York State Guard, along with U.S. Seabees of World War II, members of Daughters of the American Revolution and the Garden City Police Unit. School bands, Majorettes and twirlers, local Scout and Brownie troops, members of the Garden City Athletic Association and Garden City Community Club, the Knights of Columbus and the Garden City Chamber of Commerce will follow.
Village crews are prepping the area this week, erecting a new gazebo, sprucing up the surrounding landscape, re-positioning accent lighting that illuminates the monuments at nightfall and power washing the existing monuments. Additionally, a new American flag will be placed on the flagpole prior to Memorial Day, as it is with all other Village-owned flagpoles throughout the community.
Four plaques honor those residents who served the country during World War I, the Korean War, Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan, a “dedication” plaque pays tribute to a rich heritage of military bases “where soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen lived and trained,” noting that many spent their last days and nights in America on Garden City soil. Another plaque honors those residents who served during World War II and two plaques celebrate Garden City Medal of Honor winners, Lt. Colonel Leon Robert Vance, Jr., who served the country during World War II, and 1st Lieutenant William Bradford Turner, who served during World War I in Ronssoy, France. While in hand-to-hand combat, he saved the lives of fellow soldiers until he was finally surrounded and killed by the enemy.
“Preparation for Memorial Day is a solemn duty and as such the Village is honored by the role it plays in commemorating this day in remembrance of those who died in service to our country,” Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi said. “Our employees take great pride in the maintenance and presentation of this site.”
This year’s post-parade ceremonies will also include a re-dedication of two large bronze plaques that once sat in the front entrance of the original Doubleday building on Franklin Avenue. The plaques commemorate those Doubleday employees who served in the Armed Forces during World War I and World War II, and those that perished.
When Doubleday departed and a new owner began renovating the building, Garden City resident Cyril Smith, a Vietnam veteran who served with the 82nd Airborne Division, suggested the discarded plaques be relocated. After the plaques were secured, they were moved to the site of The Garden City Historical Society Museum, where they were stored in a visible outdoor display at the entrance to the Society’s consignment shop, the A.T. Stewart Exchange. When approached by Trustee Robert Bolebruch, at the suggestion of Mr. Smith, about relocating the plaques to the Village War Memorial area, the Historical Society was pleased to participate by releasing the plaques to be installed in a more permanent home.
“The Garden City Historical Society is uniquely aware of the importance of preserving this piece of Garden City history and is honored to memorialize the service of the individuals whose names appear on these plaques,” said Brian Pinnola, chairperson of the Historical Society’s Archives Committee. “The Historical Society looks forward to attending the rededication of the plaques at this year’s Memorial Day ceremonies on May 28.”
The Doubleday plaques will join the existing eight plaques in the vicinity of the War Memorial area on Seventh Street, across from the Garden City Hotel.
“I thank Cyril Smith for calling our attention to the Doubleday plaques and the Mayor and Board of Trustees for their support of this historic effort,” Mr. Suozzi said. “Thank you also to our mechanics and Highway Department for mounting and placing these plaques in the vicinity of the existing memorials within such tight time frames.”
Walter Hines Page, who served as Doubleday’s original partner in the Doubleday Page publishing business, was responsible for Doubleday’s move from New York City to Garden City. Descendants of Walter Hines Page will attend the ceremony, including Susan Page Trotman and her husband, Stanley. Susan is the great-granddaughter of Walter Hines Page and a granddaughter of Arthur W. Page.
Commander Frank Tauches, who recently took over the Post, said his mission is to preserve a legacy. “It’s not a legacy of land. It’s not a legacy of buildings. It’s not a legacy of schools,” he said. “It’s a legacy of people.”