Bellone and Kornreich visit Veterans’ Home for Memorial Day service

Officials gathered outside a vet room at Stony Brook University’s Long Island State Veterans Home for a Memorial Day service on Friday, May 27.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) gave the opening address for the event. He continued the theme raised during his county state address a week earlier, citing the example of the greatest generation as a model for Americans today.

“I can’t help but think that it’s just as we see our World War II veterans, sadly slowly, but inevitably, disappearing into history, that 80 years later we are now seeing war rage in Europe,” he said. “It’s so important that we never forget what they did.”

For Bellone, American veterans should be honored not only for their service overseas, but also for the work they do for communities after returning from the battlefield.

“That’s what veterans always do – they come home after fighting for our country and they build and strengthen our community,” the county executive said, adding, “To all of our veterans who have served, you have all taken over the service From the Revolutionary War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American veterans have served and sacrificed.

Brookhaven board member Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) was also in attendance. Saying he was inspired by Bellone’s speech, the council member commented on the need for policymakers to temper their power to wage war and monitor their decisions that threaten peace.

With no memory of the great world conflicts of the 20th century, today’s leaders are perhaps less cautious in their use of force.

“Perhaps people who are making decisions now, who haven’t been through this, may not have the same reluctance to engage in war and the same urgency to avoid it,” said Kornreich. “Especially right now, with all the conflict going on, it’s a very good lesson. I can think of no better way to honor the memory of those who died in war than to try to fight for peace.

– Photos courtesy of Long Island State Veterans’ Home