Far Rockaway Center, the 100-bed skilled nursing facility on Virginia Street in Far Rockaway, celebrated Veterans Day with a ceremony on Friday, November 11, to acknowledge the twelve veterans residing at the facility. Leadership thanked them for the freedom we all enjoy. Veterans at Far Rockaway Center served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy and their ranks range from Private, Specialist, Sergeant, Petty Officer and Captain, rankings that should be commemorated.
The Veterans Day ceremony opened with a bagpiper leading a resident veteran, Mr. Wayne Council, who carried the Color Guard in. Then everyone stood for the famous recording of the “National Anthem” sung by the late Whitney Houston. In the past, Far Rockaway Center presented their heroes with certificates, medals and personalized plaques, but this year, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Recreation team, led by Zelideth Reyes presented the veterans with a gift, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy hats, gifts with which they can express their pride as veterans on a daily basis.
These gifts went over extremely well, as all were excited when they opened them. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house and both Administrator Sol Blumenfeld and Director of Nursing, Flora Jones, nearly cried when the residents showed their emotions when they each placed the hats on their heads. Each veteran also received a United States hand held flag.
The ceremony continued with the bagpiper playing a medley of military anthems and then everyone took a photo in front of a banner that read “Thank you Veterans.” Later, a variety of hors d’oeuvres and juices in patriotic red, white and blue-flagged designed cups and napkins were served as refreshments.