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Addabbo honors vets with Ozone Park flag

Queens community members gather together after a new flag was raised in Ozone Park in honor of Veterans Day. Photo by Bianca Fortis
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For years a flagpole has stood empty in an Ozone Park shopping center, but Friday a group of citizens, along with state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), hoisted a new flag to mark Veterans Day.

The flagpole sits on top of the clock tower on the MediSys medical clinic, at 91-20 Atlantic Ave., in a Pathmark shopping center.

Addabbo said his office had received calls from veterans as well as citizens, such as Maria Thomson, executive director of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corp., who wanted to know why the tower had no flag.

“It’s a great way to commemorate Veterans Day by raising a flag on top of the building,” Thomson said at the event. “And I know that everyone that sees it will remember that that flag stands for patriotism, for commitment and for sacrifice.

“We thank you so much for your sacrifice,” she told the veterans who were present.

There were vets from the American Legion Post 118 in Woodhaven, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2565 in Howard Beach and the American Legion Post 1404 in Howard Beach.

Addabbo also thanked the veterans who attended the event. He said Americans cannot begin to repay the vets for what they are owed.

“I want to thank each and every one of you because, as you all understand, Veterans Day is not just one day out of the year,” he said. “It’s every day of the year. We always thank you for your commitment and dedication to our country. We get to raise an American flag today because of what you’ve done and for what was done before you.”

The flag was supplied by Delta Flag & Sign Co. in Glendale.

The assembled crowd said the Pledge of Allegiance after the flag was hoisted.

The clinic is located in a building that was formerly one piece of the Lalance and Grosjean Enamel Cookware Factory, which was established in 1863. The plant burned down in 1876 but was later rebuilt, Addabbo said. The facility, which employed 2,000 people, manufactured pressed tin and made mess kits that were used by the U.S. Navy during the Spanish-American War and World War I.

“This is the history of our community,” Addabbo said. “The surrounding communities of Woodhaven and Ozone Park might not have grown up as much as they did if not for this factory.”

Ray York, an Army veteran and a member of Post 1404, said the veterans at his post travel through the community and provide flags for poles without them.

“This is historical since the building is as old as it is,” the Korean War vet said. “This should have been done long ago.”

Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at bfortis@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Posted 12:00 am, November 15, 2013
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