On Saturday, December 4th, 2021, nine WWII veterans, their guardians, families and Honor Flight officials, will attend a public reunion at the American Airpower Museum (AAM) in Farmingdale, New York. The event, taking place between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, will help celebrate these veterans and include a Ceremony of Honors in which each of them will receive a personalized ‘tribute journal’ of images captured during their recent trip to the nation’s capital. Hosted by Honor Flight Long Island (HFLI), that October 3rd journey saw this group of veterans depart on a free, early-morning flight to Washington, D.C. where they visited the National WWII Memorial and witnessed the changing of the guard and a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Honor Flight returned the veterans to Islip MacArthur Airport late that evening, where they received a warm welcome home from family members and the Long Island Bagpipe Band. The nine WWII veterans who took part included: Dominick Critelli, 100, US Army, Floral Park, NY; Vincent DePalo, 98, US Army Air Forces, Bethpage, NY; Constantine Efthimiades, 96, US Army, Whitestone, NY; Robert Harms, 95, US Navy, Carle Place, NY; Louis Peretz, 100, US Army Air Forces, Commack, NY; Eleanor Rizutto, 100, US Army, Franklin Square, NY; Stephen Samsel, 94, US Navy, Fairfield, CT; Vincent Tolve, 98, US Army Air Forces, Mastic Beach, NY; Eugene Zanger, 93, US Army, Massapequa, NY.
Sponsored by Honor Flight Long Island, the December 4th reunion at the American Airpower Museum is open to the public and will serve as a marvelous opportunity to thank these nine veterans for their invaluable contributions to our society. HFLI President Bill Jones and AAM President and Founder Jeff Clyman will both make speeches. Elected officials are also expected to attend and present citations to the veterans. The Fort Salonga Community Band will play a medley, also known as the Armed Forces Salute, featuring the official melodies for each independent branch of the United States Military. HFLI will provide free refreshments, and admission is free for the Veterans, Guardians and their families participating in the program. Regular public admission for Adults is $15, Seniors & Veterans $10, and Children 5-12 $8. No tickets or preregistration are required for public admission.