Nassau County, NY - July 1, 2015 - As our nation marks the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the Vietnam Veterans of America-Chapter 82 unveiled a POW-MIA Chair of Honor within the Ceremonial Chambers of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building.
“Freedom is not free – there is a price for freedom that our brave servicemen and women paid so that we could enjoy the freedoms that we do,” said County Executive Mangano. “We dedicate this unoccupied chair in memory of those that are still Prisoners of War or Missing in Action. This chair symbolizes there will always be a place in Nassau County awaiting their return.”
The POW-MIA Chair of Honor, which can be portable or mounted in a stadium, was donated by the Hussey Seating Company, and arranged for placement in the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Ceremonial Chamber by the Vietnam Veterans of America-Chapter 82. A POW-MIA Chair of Honor in any location is to remain perpetually empty to help people remember that even though our soldiers are not here, there is still a space for them.
“Our community owes all of our soldiers and their families a debt of gratitude that we can never repay,” added County Executive Mangano. “But when we gather for ceremonies such as this one we show our never ending respect and appreciation.”
At the dedication ceremony, County Executive Mangano also honored World War II Veteran Oreste H. Cariddi of Levittown. The 95-year old Army veteran served with the 94th Infantry between December 1942 and October 1945 under the command of General George S. Patton. Mr. Cariddi was presented with a framed collage of pictures he took at Normandy – along with a duplicate collage that will be displayed in the Executive & Legislative Building in Mineola.
Pictured: (left to right) Bob Chiappone (Commander Military Order of the Purple Heart Post 417), John Schneider, Steve Bonom 1st Vice President Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 82, Past President of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 82 Paul Masi, County Executive Mangano, Legislator Laura Schaefer, President of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 82 Joseph Ingino, Bob Rydell, Nassau County Director of Veterans Services Ralph Esposito, Andy Booth (Vice Chairman, Nassau County Monument Committee), Kevin Carpenter 2nd Vice President Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 82, and Deputy Director of Veterans Services Scott Castillo.