Westbury VFW Post Rededicated

0
1217

Veterans Day is a day to remember all veterans have done, and thank them for their service. So it seemed only fitting that this year, the Village of Westbury celebrated the day by making sure generations to come would be able to remember what countless men and women have sacrificed for this country, by rededicating the local VFW post as a historical collection.

Village of Westbury mayor Peter Cavallaro, Nassau County clerk Maureen O’Connell, village board trustee Steve Corte, Marion Pascarella and Nassau County legislator Laura Schaefer with the newly unveiled sign.  (Photo by Ray Muntz)
Village of Westbury mayor Peter Cavallaro, Nassau County clerk Maureen O’Connell, village board trustee Steve Corte, Marion Pascarella and Nassau County legislator Laura Schaefer with the newly unveiled sign. (Photo by Ray Muntz)

On Nov. 11, a ceremony was held to rededicate Corporal James Walsh VFW Post #945 as the Westbury Military Historical Collection. The building, located at 406 Maple Ave., houses two-floors of authentic war memorabilia and artifacts, including Purple Heart medals and uniforms. One of the most valuable treasures in the building is a glass-encased plywood list featuring approximately 2,200 names of servicemen from Westbury, New Cassel, Carle Place and Old Westbury who served during World War II.

“Many communities erected walls like this during World War II, but after the war they were thrown away,” said Village of Westbury mayor Peter Cavallaro. “This wall represents everyone from the greater Westbury community who served in WWII. This is one of the only remaining walls of its kind on Long Island. It’s special for our community and because it’s a historical artifact.”

Over the last decade the post has become almost inactive as many of the VFW’s active members passed away, became inactive or moved away. The VFW officially gifted the building and its contents to the Village of Westbury in September, in an effort to preserve the important community resource.

“We’ve been blessed to have a dedicated VFW legion and as is happening everywhere, some of the guys have aged, some have passed and trustee (Steve) Corte and I had a conversation about what do we do as a community to preserve this building?” said Cavallaro. “Our intent is to create a local historical museum of this building and preserve the way it is and allow local veterans group from the area to continue to use it.”

Marion Pascarella and Steve Corte in front of the newly unveiled sign
Marion Pascarella and Steve Corte in front of the newly unveiled sign

At the ceremony, the main room was also rededicated as the Louis R. Corte and Joseph N. Pascarella Memorial Room, to honor two men who helped preserve the post throughout the years.

“It was the best thing they could have done,” said Pascarella’s wife Marion about the re-gifting. “This was his life. Since 1954 when he got out of the service up until the weeks before he died, he was down here.”

The newly dedicated historical collection will be open for groups from organizations such as schools and Scout troops, as well as local veterans’ organizations by appointment. The village is also hoping to develop programs and exhibits to enhance the materials on site.

Leave a Reply