Queens Flag Day Committee Awards Dinner Honors NYPD, FDNY, Military

The Queens Flag Day Committee held its annual awards dinner at Douglaston Manor on June 27. Individuals from the NYPD, FDNY, DSNY, Sheriff’s Department, and the military were celebrated for outstanding service to the community. 

Attendees drank, chatted and enjoyed some hors d’ourves on the Manor’s scenic patio before heading inside for the night. The ceremony began with a presentation of colors by the US Army NYC Recruiting Battalion, a rendition of the national anthem, and an invocation by Pastor Gordon Jones.

 David Locker, senior advisor for the NYC Department of Veterans Services, was among the speakers. He emphasized the shared sense of duty, responsibility, and dedication that those carrying out military and public service experience. 

“Putting on the uniform is a profound act that signifies a commitment to something greater than one’s self,” Locker said. “It is vital that we support one another, recognizing that our shared experiences create a bond that transcends our individual path.” 

16 honorees in total were brought up to the stage and presented with awards. 

Staff Sergeants Kiara Magee and Johan G. Villamil Novoa were selected as the US Army awardees; Gunnery Sergeant Christopher G. OConnor was selected for the honor from the Marine Corps. 

FDNY Captain Robert Wind was honored, as was Undersheriff Julio Lopez. Mr. Mark Boccia won the John J. Farrell Sr. Award. 

As for the NYPD, 10 names were honored — one being Detective John Diller, who was shot and murdered while conducting a traffic stop in Far Rockaway. The others were Officers Brett Boller, Thomas Corey, Kevin Donato, Robert Sheron, Matthew Simpson, and Matthew Yeung; and Detectives Anthony Cutaia, Imtiaz Mohamed, and Steven Rosa. 

The Queens Flag Day Committee has held its awards dinner for over two decades

“It’s always a lot of fun,” Colonel Peter J. Sammarco, executive director of the Flag Day Committee, said. “It’s humbling to watch different individuals […] see what they’ve done, and why we want to honor them for their service and sacrifice.” 

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