Memorial Day highlights a time across the country when we honor our fallen heroes who sacrificed everything to protect our freedoms. The day is a time to reflect on those gone and honor the courage and service of our veterans and current servicemembers while taking into account the sacrifices of their families.

This Memorial Day was a time to check in on our loved ones, champion our veterans, and help those plagued with thoughts of loneliness, especially after a grueling pandemic.

The American Legion Continental Post 1424, in conjunction with the Forest Hills Kiwanis, held a Memorial Day commemoration at Remsen Memorial Park in Rego Park with the theme “Return to Service.” The event was the first post-COVID gathering for the groups with hopes for a return to normalcy.

The event featured tributes to the countless soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Special congratulations were given to Law and Order Award recipient Captain Joseph E. Cappelmann, Commanding Officer of the local 112th police precinct, and Civilian Community Service Honoree Heidi Harrison Chain, who serves at the precinct’s community council president. Notably present were the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps., Rep. Grace Meng, State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, City Council Member Bob Holden, and City Council candidates David Aronov, Lynn Schulman, and Edwin Wong. Wong as well visited graves of veterans at Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens.

City Council candidate Avi Cyperstein spent Memorial Day speaking with locals throughout the district. While canvassing in Rego Park, Cyperstein encountered Frank, a veteran who faithfully served our country. The pair shared a touching moment where Cyperstein thanked the hero for his service and learned that his brother was also a service member. It is these small interactions, moments where we smile and say thank you, that give others the courage to continue.