In Whitestone on June 6, members of the Queens Chapter 32 Vietnam Veterans of America gathered at the Whitestone Veterans Memorial, located at 149th Street and 15th Drive, to recognize those who died at D-Day and those WWII veterans who are still alive today.
Queens native Sal Salvio, 94, was a tank driver at D-Day and said he was happy to see the way the veterans came out to pay respect.
“It’s a big honor to be with some of these guys here,” Salvio said following the ceremony. “I think the younger boys are doing good of respecting the old guys.”
Chapter 32 president Paul Narson said the Vietnam veterans group, which serves 70,000 members nationwide, will continue to care for everyone who has ever servedtheir country.
“This generation of veterans will never abandon another generation of veterans,” Narson said at the group’s first annual memorial celebration at the site.
Standing among generations of soldiers last week, State Senator Tony Avella remembered his own father, who served in WWII, and thanked the men and women who served.
“It was symbolic for all of us to remember what they did on that day,” Avella said. “The whole country participated and today is the day to remember.”
Former comptroller and State Senate candidate John Liu also joined the ceremony to pay his respects.
“We are here to commemorate the heavy sacrifices, heavy casualties that were suffered 70 years ago,” Liu said. “This is a day that we will never forget.”