The 105th anniversary of the end of World War I was commemorated this morning at Ocean View Cemetery in Oakwood during an Annual Veterans Day Observance attended by more than 100 people.
Since 1919, the ceremony has paid tribute to veterans on the day that originated as Armistice Day, and later was designated Veterans Day by the 38th Congress in 1954.
Initially sponsored by WWI veterans, the event has evolved since the United Staten Island Veterans Organization (USIVO) took charge in 2014.
“It was a nice day to celebrate our veterans,’’ said Anthony Navarino, commander of the Granito-Smith VFW Post.
This year’s keynote speaker, veterans advocate JoAnne Nolemi, and founder/president of The Island Heroes Project, researched and remembered the 1,300 men and women from Staten Island who made the ultimate sacrifice in all wars. Their mission of the project is to discover, identify, and research Staten Island’s war dead and share with students, young people, and veterans.
The ceremony included a ceremonial rifle volley executed by the Marine Corps League, Detachment 246, complemented by the Tottenville High School Taps unit.
Girl Scout Troop 5525 also paid tribute with wreath-laying ceremonies. Additionally, the Richmond District 369th Veterans solemnly honored their fellow veteran, Leon J. Wallace.
JoAnne Nolemi served 20 years as director of choruses at Tottenville High School, where she integrated her passion for Staten Island’s fallen heroes. The students identified more than 70 Islanders killed in action in WWI that to this day are not listed on the WWI Memorial at Hero Park.
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