Memorial Day Tributes

This was a very different Memorial Day from those past.  Only one of Brian Kenny’s floats was present.  No marchers came down Plandome Road.  No bands played.  No small children waving American Flags adorned the Parade route.  As New York began the process of re-opening from the pandemic, a small group from the American Legion Family and some residents of Manhasset gathered to remember those veterans who gave all in the service of our country and those veterans who are no longer with us.  Armed with gloves and masks, those present remained socially distant while listening to the introduction by Commander Peter Killian and to the reading of the names of those who had served in our Armed Forces but passed away since Memorial Day 2019.  Vice Commander James Brooks placed a wreath on the Gold Star Monument and Sergeant-at-Arms Thomas Buzzitta raised the Flags while Dennis Klainberg played Taps.  All then left in the manner they had arrived – with dignity and respect, acutely aware of the sacrifices that had been made.

Veterans of Manhasset American Legion Post 304

Members of Manhasset American Legion Auxiliary Unit 304

Commander Peter Killian began the ceremony and Chaplain James Sharkey read the names of veterans who had passed since May 2019

  Vice Commander James Brooks laid the Wreath

Sergeant-at-Arms Thomas Buzzitta raised the American Flag and the POW Flag as Dennis Klainberg played Taps 

Our Thanks to Brian Kenny for the beautiful Float


The National Moment of Remembrance is an annual event that asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause for a duration of one minute to remember those who have died in military service to the United States. It is especially poignant this year, given that our many remembrance ceremonies and parades will not take place because of the pandemic.

The 3 p.m. commemoration of those who died in service to the country includes taps played by anyone who has a bugle or trumpet.  The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying time off of work for the national holiday. The Moment was first proclaimed in May 2000 for Memorial Day that year, and was put in law by the United States Congress in December 2000.

The Village of Plandome Heights hosted Taps Across America in Dennis Klainberg’s front yard.  Members of the community supported the beautiful tribute to our fallen Heroes and were grateful for the rendition of Taps performed by Dennis Klainberg, Rachel Sloan, and Michael Riscica.

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For several years the American Legion Auxiliary has reached out to you for help in spreading holiday cheer to our veterans residing at the Northport VA Medical Center.  Your response has consistently overwhelmed us and last year we prepared and delivered over 200 holiday gift bags for our veterans.  The gifts brought tears to the eyes of staff members and smiles to the faces of our veterans.

We are again asking for your help to do something similar.  A “Wish List” of items that would be helpful to our veterans may be found on our website,, in the “Events” section.  It includes specific toiletries for men and women, various clothing items including sweatpants, pajamas and shirts, military baseball caps, soothing CDs, family-oriented movies and Broadway musicals.

There is also a need for 6 robotic dogs and cats used specifically for dementia patients and for 35 rechargeable men’s shavers.  For the sake of consistency, we are “wishing” that earmarked monetary donations would be made to allow us to purchase these items.

Manhasset American Legion Post 304, 27 Bayview Avenue, will be open on Saturday, December 7, from 10 am until 4 pm, to accept donations for this worthy cause.  The Scouts and our Junior Auxiliary members will be in back of Raindew, accepting both monetary donations and purchased items.  We are very grateful to Raindew for their continued support of our veterans and the American Legion Auxiliary’s ongoing programs.

Please join us in spreading cheer to those who have sacrificed so much in the service of our great nation and in the preservation of our freedoms.  Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our veterans.  May you each be blessed in abundance at this beautiful holiday season.

For additional information, please feel free to contact Pat O’Brien at 516-850-5702 or


American Legion Auxiliary Turns 100 Years Old

Unit 304 is happy to announce that November 10, 2019 marks the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion Auxiliary.  Our milestone celebration comes a few months after The American Legion celebrated its centennial in March.

The American Legion was founded after the end of World War I in Paris, France. In September of that year, the United States Congress chartered The American Legion. Several women’s organizations wanted to become the official affiliate of the Legion. Instead of associating with an existing organization, the Legion decided to create a new organization with the women most closely associated with the men of the Legion. The American Legion Auxiliary was founded at The American Legion’s second convention on Nov. 10, 1919.

Since their establishments a century ago, the goals of both organizations have been to help veterans and their families. Today, The American Legion has more than 2 million members. The ALA boasts more than 600,000 members who spend millions of volunteer hours serving our mission every year.

The American Legion Auxiliary has stood alongside The American Legion as advocates for veterans’ rights, including passage of the GI Bill, enhancing U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, and ending homelessness among veterans.

The ALA’s 100th anniversary is a time not only to celebrate the achievements of the last
century, but also to look ahead to our next century.  A new generation of veterans, service members, and their families will depend on the American Legion Auxiliary.

It is our hope that our membership will increase as we continue the work that is so important for our Veterans, our Military and their families.

The following article appeared in the Manhasset Press.

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Empire Girls State Citizens Attend Meeting of Unit 304

Four of the six young women who represented Manhasset Unit 304 at Empire Girls State this year attended the meeting held by Unit 304 on September 17th.  Each of them spoke of their experiences during the week spent at Brockport in which they gained an in-depth knowledge of our nation’s two-party system through very hands-on activities.  They created a fictional 51st state. were members of counties named for women who are prominent in United States history, ran for office, created bills that were presented to the body of 360 young women, and learned the fate of their bills in the legislature.  Each spoke very highly of the program and of the other young women they met from throughout New York State.  They stressed that the knowledge about government will aid them as they reach voting age and beyond and the self-knowledge they gained will carry them through their lives.

Left to Right:  Pat O’Brien (President, Unit 304), Linda Clarke and Ann Marie Moschitta (Co-Chairpersons for Empire Girls State), EGS Citizens Emily Song and Jenna Curran (St. Mary’s High School), EGS Citizens Caroline Ryan and Sofia Matos (Manhasset High School), and Elizabeth Parrella ( 1st Vice President and Treasurer, Unit 304)

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Memorial Day Weekend

A Memorial Service is held on a rotating basis in a Church in Manhasset each year on the Sunday before Memorial Day. Members of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary participated together with members of the Congregational Church in this joint remembrance.  A gathering followed the service in one of the Church’s rooms and refreshments were served.  Anyone from the Manhasset community may attend.

Some members of Unit 304 wait with Post 304 Legionnaires for the start of the Service at the Congregational Church Memorial Day

Memorial Day Parade

The Memorial Day Parade which is sponsored by the American Legion annually in Manhasset took place as scheduled.  One member provided and drove her award-winning Cobra Mustang for the Poppy Queen in the Parade.  Others marched and attended the memorial service.  Following the Parade, a memorial service was held, wreaths were placed at monuments, the names of those veterans who have died during the year were read, and awards were given to high school students.  A celebration followed at the American Legion Hall for all American Legion and Auxiliary members and their families, for our active service personnel and for community members.

Awaiting the start of the Parade

Junior members in their new uniforms carry the new banner of Unit 304 in the Parade.  A Junior and Senior member form the Color Guard accompanied by an SAL member with their new Banner and a Junior member with their new Banner.  Senior members march behind.

Manhasset High School Sophomore and Honorary Junior Auxiliary President for Unit 304, Kaitlyn Clarke, served as our Poppy Queen in this year’s Memorial Day Parade

Pat O’Brien, President, addresses the attendees at the Memorial Service and Awards Ceremony at Manhasset High School

Pat O’Brien, President, and Elizabeth Parrella, 1st Vice Presiddent, present Manhasset High School senior, Abigail Kolyer, with the American Legion Auxiliary Good Deed Award for her work with senior citizens suffering from dementia.

Pat and Elizabeth with the awardees for 2019 (in no particular order): Poppy Queen, Kaitlyn Clarke; EGS Citizens, Caroline Ryan and Sofia Matos of Manhasset High School and Jenna Curran and Francene Olegario of St. Mary’s High School; Americanism Award recipients, Kristin D’Angelo of Manhasset High School and Rachel Jang of St. Mary’s High School; and Abigail Kolyer, Good Deed awardee

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Support of Our Veterans – Welcome Baby Tea

The Junior Auxiliary worked with our senior members to create 26 Diaper Cakes and 32 wash cloth Teddy Bears for the “Welcome Baby Tea” held for 24 female veterans who had just given birth or were due to give birth in the near future. This was sponsored by the Women’s Wellness Center at the Northport VA Medical Center on May 16th.


Members shopped and met to package gifts for the “Welcome Baby Tea.” These consisted of a stroller, Pac ‘n Play, bath robes for the Moms, diapers, onesies, baby wipes, Desitin, baby shampoo, thermometers, handmade blankets and sweater sets donated by our partner “Care to Knit,” and pacifiers.  Personal gift items were also provided for the “Moms to Be.”  A local troop of Brownies created “cupcake socks” by folding baby socks and placing them in cupcake papers to make them look like real cupcakes.  All items were brought to the Northport VA Medical Center (NVAMC) for the Welcome Baby Tea which was fabulous.  The “Moms to Be” were given lunch in addition to the many gifts.  There was also a program given by the different departments within the NVAMC.  They centered around care after birth, breast feeding and proper nutrition.  The prosthesis department gave the ‘Moms to Be” breast pumps and the nutrition department gave them recipes for healthy eating along with a sample of a healthy snack made from oatmeal.  It was a wonderful day.

Joan Deignan, Dale Telmer, Marianne Buzzitta and Sue Neville (2nd Vice President) were part of the team shopping and packing gifts for our female veterans.  Sue served as the liaison with the Women’s Wellness Center.  


A conference room was transformed into a beautiful setting for a beautiful event.

We thank everyone who supported this particular project.  We are also very grateful to all those who make donations to us throughout the year.  Your generosity enables us to provide support, not only for this event, but for our veterans all year long.


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Junior American Legion Auxiliary

Unit 304 proudly announces the formation of its Junior Auxiliary.  Girls from birth to the end of their 17th year may become members if they meet the organization’s criteria.  The girls assist the American Legion Auxiliary with projects, elect their own honorary officers, and conduct their own meetings with the assistance of senior members.

Some of the girls are seen below with their newly selected uniform.  They chose a shirt that was created by Spectrum of Port Washington.

Our Junior members assisted in the preparation and distribution of Poppies.  All donations received are used for the support of veterans and active military.


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Empire Girls State Citizens Leave for Brockport

An excited group of young women who were honored at our Memorial Day Ceremony left from the Williston Post this morning to begin their week-long adventure at Empire Girls State.  President Pat O’Brien and Vice President and Treasurer Elizabeth Parrella were among those wishing the young women a safe journey and a productive week.

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Memorial Day Parade

The American Legion Auxiliary members joined the American Legion in commemorating Memorial Day by marching and riding in the Parade and participating in the ceremony at the Manhasset High School afterwards.  Thank you to everyone who volunteered the use of their convertibles and also to those who served as our drivers.  Our Poppy Queen, Kristin D’Angelo, represented our ideals of patriotism and service.



























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Memorial Weekend Church Service

On Sunday, May 27, members of American Legion Post 304 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 304 were invited to share Sunday morning services with the congregation of  Church of Our Savior Lutheran.  The Pastor and members were very welcoming and paid a beautiful tribute to the service of our veterans.



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