Veterans marched throughout the Village of Westbury this past Saturday, Nov. 7, for the Nassau County Veterans Day Parade. The event included a special tribute to all veterans who served during the Korean War and posthumously honored former Nassau County Veterans Agency Director Joseph Pascarella, who served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.
“Today is a day to pause and pay tribute to all the veterans who have served our country,” said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. “It is important that we all come together to honor the sacrifices put forth by the many men and women who have served our country.”
Mangano made reference to former Westbury resident and Veterans Agency Director, Pascarella, who passed away in 2013.
“Joseph Pascarella was a Korean War veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps. for 28 years,” Mangano said. “Joe led the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency with the same pride, distinction and patriotism in which he served our nation. His leadership resulted in our hometown heroes receiving an unprecedented level of benefits, new veteran housing and improved programs for all veterans.”
Many veteran groups were in attendance at the event including the American Legion County and Post, VFW County and Post, Korean War Veterans, Vietnam War Veterans, Catholic War Veterans and Jewish War Veterans. A convoy of military trucks and tanks were included in the parade.
Westbury resident and Korean War veteran Hank Nowicki, said he appreciated the parade being held in his hometown and that it was a very nice event put together by the county.
“I and all of the local veterans appreciate this. I hope they do this every year,” said Nowicki, who is the second vice commander of the Korean War Veterans Association. “I knew Joseph Pascarella well and served with him at the Veterans Agency and on the Wall of Honor Committee. He was a great man and is sorely missed.”
Veteran Gregory Faling, who served in the Vietnam War in 1969-70, said the parade and ceremony was excellent and that he’d like to see the event become an annual tradition in the village.
“It is good to see people come together and respect all of our veterans who are here with us and those who did not come back,” said Faling. “It is a good way of protecting the dignity and honor of the United States of America.”
Another veteran, Mary Norris, who served in the U.S. Army Reserves in Grenada, said it was a very nice event and that joining the military is a wonderful calling.
“It is only right to honor our service members who make the United States Veterans Organization a working tool,” said Norris. “I think it is also great because a function like this reaches out to a diverse community like Westbury and might generate the interest of our young people who are thinking of joining the military.”
Parade-goer Michael Vasquez, of Westbury, said that his father had served in the Vietnam War and that the event was a wonderful tribute to all of the veterans.
“I am glad to see the parade and the ceremony held in Westbury because we really appreciate the service our vets have given to our country,” said Vasquez. “I hope they continue to have this event in our village every November.”