Residents of Golden Legacy Senior Apartments are proud of their veterans.
To show their appreciation, they recently erected and dedicated a flag monument to those who have served.
"There was something missing," said Ray Darrow, who spearheaded the project with fellow resident Jim LaGrow. "We had no flag, so we took up a collection from all the tenants."
Through fundraising efforts, the group collected enough money from tenants and donors to erect a flagpole, install a granite plaque at the base of the monument and purchase an official flag that flew on the US Capitol. Resident Maureen Guilfoyle secured the flag by contacting Rep. James Walsh, who then presented the flag to the Golden Legacy veterans.
To commemorate the accomplishment, a dedication ceremony was held Saturday Oct. 18 when four United States Marines proudly raised our country's flag on the monument's flagpole.
"It was a nice day with about 125 people there," Darrow said. "It was beautiful."
The event included a rendition of "To The Colors" by a Marine Corp bugler followed by the "The Star Spangled Banner" and "America the Beautiful" sung by all attendees. Supervisor Claude Sykes served as the master of ceremonies introducing guests and local dignitaries including Sen. John DeFrancisco, Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, County Executive Joanie Mahoney, county legislators Richard Lesniak and Robert D. Warner, County Clerk Ann Ciarpelli and Mayor Joseph Saraceni.
A veteran affair
Darrow said there are 39 residents with 238 years of service in the armed forces currently living at Golden Legacy.
"Some served in the reserves, some in active duty," Darrow said of the veteran residents, adding that the oldest is 95-year-old Ralvin Einbinder who served three years in the Navy. "All together that's pretty remarkable."
With the support of apartment owners Tom and Ruby Sciuga and installing contractors, the project has now become a constantly lit reality.
"It feels wonderful to have our own flag. We have been talking about it for a while and it finally came to fruition," said resident Al Meyer. "It's lit all night. That makes it beautiful."
"There is a lot of pride amongst our community that we accomplished this," Guilfoyle said. "Something we will all be proud of for a long time. These times especially. It's so good to thank vets, even from past conflicts."