On Sept. 12, the three newly elected New York State American Legion department heads, American Legion Commander Rena Nessler; American Legion Auxiliary President Pat Hennessy and Detachment Commander William Clancy III paid a visit to Long Island. They were greeted by members of the American Legion as well as the American Legion Auxiliary who accompanied them to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City where they received a guided tour of Long Island’s rich heritage in the field of aerospace and aviation. From the first flights more than a century ago by frail planes on Hempstead Plains, to man’s walking on the moon, Long Island has been on the leading edge of America’s aviation and space adventure.
Their next stop was the Firefighters’ Museum and Education Center, housed in the same facility as the Cradle of Aviation Museum, where they were able to experience first-hand the proud tradition of firefighting on Long Island and also had the opportunity to trace the history of firefighting in Nassau County with hands-on exhibits that feature antique and contemporary fire apparatus and gear.
The trio then visited the Veterans Memorial at Eisenhower Park which serves as a tribute to the heroes of Nassau County, and dedicated to the bravery of two groups of Nassau County residents—the deceased veterans of all wars, and county firefighters—who lost their lives in the line of duty.
In 1947, the park dedicated a memorial to those who died in World War II and the Veterans Memorial plaza has been growing ever since. Veterans have constructed individual monuments to honor Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients, Merchant Marines, veterans of World War II, the Korean War and POWs and MIAs. In 1971, the county constructed the Veterans Tower dedicated to Nassau County veterans of the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korean and Vietnam wars. In 2015, a monument was added in honor of the Nassau County American Legion Auxiliary. The avenue of flags represents active veteran organizations in Nassau County and thousands of names appear on the recently constructed Walls of Honor, which honors all residents who served, living or deceased.