There's always time to thank a veteran
by Ed Wendell
Jun 09, 2015 | 4544 views | 0 0 comments | 107 107 recommendations | email to a friend | print
They are two of the simplest words to say in any language, but sometimes we need to make an extra effort to say them.

The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is inviting everyone in Woodhaven to come out to American Legion Post 118 on Saturday, June 20, to say those two words at our 2nd Annual “Thank You” barbecue block party.

Over 100 residents turned out last year to say “thank you” to everyone who served. There were hot dogs and hamburgers and music and laughter. It’s a great way for the community to come together and celebrate our veterans and kick off the summer.

The party will start at noon and go until around 4 p.m. at American Legion Post 118, 89-02 91st Street, behind PS 60. Everyone in Woodhaven is invited to come out, have fun and show our respect and gratitude to our veterans.

Last year, we were joined by Assemblyman Mike Miller, who donated a few trays of baked ziti as well as the use of a large grill. Paul Vasiliadis, owner of The Avenue Diner, 91-06 Jamaica Avenue, donated plates and coolers. Other residents chipped in with canopy tents and some, like resident Jimmy Fusco, came out to lend their expertise at the grill.

If you would like to help out or make a small donation to the party, contact the WRBA at (718) 296-3735.

Last year we were also honored to be joined by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, who presented the American Legion with a special American flag which had flown over the U.S. Capitol.

“It’s a beautiful day and today we honor all veterans, those who served and those who are still active, because they made the ultimate sacrifice, not only to protect our nation and provide our liberties and freedoms, but also to make sure that we have peace around the world,” Velázquez told the residents who came out to thank our vets.

“This is the true meaning of community, friendship and family” said Martin Colberg, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. “We’re all a part of this community, and we’re all one big family in Woodhaven. It’s a great day to say ‘thank you’ to the vets and also a great day for us all to come out and meet some new neighbors.”

Woodhaven has had a long tradition of coming out to show support and gratitude to those who served our country. But what, exactly, does it mean to “serve our country”?

It means making a commitment. It means leaving your home and your family for months and years at a time. Sometimes it means traveling halfway across the world to places where people are hostile to our way of life. Sometimes it means putting your life in danger. And sometimes, all too often, that danger reaches out and touches you. Sometimes you don’t come home.

Every single man and woman who has served in our armed forces has put their lives at risk, even if they never see combat; even if they never end up going into hostile territory.

Just by signing up, just by making that commitment, they know that they are putting themselves on a path that could lead to permanent injury or even death. It takes a special kind of person to make that kind of commitment for their country, for their friends, and for their neighbors.

And so, on June 20 we are asking residents of Woodhaven to make a far more modest commitment. We are asking residents to take a few moments to stop by American Legion Post 118 for Woodhaven’s 2nd annual “Thank a Vet” BBQ.

We’ll have a giant “thank you” card for residents to sign – let’s fill that card up with words of kindness and gratitude. It is the very least that we can do.

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