Tag Archives: memorial day

No garbage, recycling collection on Memorial Day


| brennison@queenscourier.com

In observance of Memorial Day, there will be no garbage or recycling collection or street cleaning on Monday, May 28.

Those who normally receive garbage pickup on Mondays should place their trash curbside after 5 p.m., the Sanitation Department said.

Residents who usually have recycling collection on Monday will have it picked up on Monday, June 4.

 

Op Ed: The Meaning of Memorial Day


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Councilmember Mathieu Eugene

By Councilmember Mathieu Eugene

Chair, NYC Council Veterans’ Committee

Each year since the end of the Civil War, we set aside a day to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers who have fought bravely to serve and protect our country. We take time to remember the countless number of service members in our nation’s history who have made invaluable sacrifices to maintain our way of life and preserve the gift of freedom we enjoy as a people. Most important, we share the memories of all service members who have passed away in the line of duty and retell their story to younger generations to ensure their place in our nation’s history never becomes overlooked or forgotten.

On Memorial Day, we show our admiration for all members of the military who have fought overseas and followed the call of duty, even when confronted with the uncertainty of returning home. We remember the contributions of service members within our communities and from our families who deserve recognition for their own individual efforts. I don’t believe we can thank service members enough for what they’ve provided for us, but I hope that by coming together, as we do every year in observance of Memorial Day, we can display our highest level of respect and honor.

As we all know, many service members remain on active duty and continue to fight in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world. While we remember those from every period of our history, let us also take this opportunity to reflect upon those who currently serve our country and express our support for the job they continue to do. As more and more troops come back to the United States, we need to find ways of welcoming them home and demonstrating that we are grateful for their service. Memorial Day should serve as a day when we say thank you to the service members and veterans we know from our personal lives and show them that we care.

As the Chair of the Veterans Committee in the New York City Council, I am proud to serve veterans living across New York City and work to address the issues faced by service members when they become discharged from the military. As a city, I believe that we should do more to strengthen the services, programs and benefits available to veterans. It is unfortunate to see veterans who are homeless, searching desperately for a job, or suffering from mental health problems such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We need to continue raising awareness of these challenges and also create a stronger support network for veterans who may benefit from services offered by the city, state and federal government.

This Memorial Day, let us remain focused on addressing the issues affecting veterans, recommit ourselves to honoring their service, and help fight for them, just as they fought for us.

 

Queens filmmaker memorializes uncle’s World War II experiences


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

Queens resident and military veteran Joe Reveman’s experiences during World War II are forever memorialized in a biographical film depicting his life as an active member of the United States Armed Forces.

Filming began almost two years ago when Reveman’s nephew, Bryant Falk, proposed the idea for a documentary. Falk always enjoyed hearing his uncle’s stories depicting his days in the Army. Having previous experience as a commercial film director, Falk saw this as a great chance to make his first documentary-style movie.

Reveman was drafted to be a pilot in the Air Force of the United States Army in 1943

“I was young, 18. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t have much of a choice,” said Reveman. “When I got to England I was apprehensive, but I was glad to help at the end of the war.”

As the war continued, Reveman became a radio operator onboard B17 Bomber planes. Their mission was to obliterate the German air and railroad supply.

He flew 24 missions over Germany. His last mission took place on Friday, April 13, 1945.

“It’s a date that will live in infamy in my mind,” said Reveman.

Flying in formation, the planes prepared to release their bombs over Germany. One plane’s bomb release malfunctioned and several bombs dropped at the same time, striking each other and exploding. Reveman’s plane lost control.

The pilot regained control of the plane and they began to gradually descend over the border between England and German-occupied territory. Unsure of which side they would touch down on, the crew prepared for a wheels-up landing.

But as the wheels touched ground, they struck a slab of marble, slicing the plane in half.

When Reveman regained consciousness, he crawled from the crushed aluminum.

“I saw blue skies,” he said.

Trucks appeared in the distance. Still unsure of his location, Reveman hoped the approaching vehicles were those of the Allied Forces. A Red Cross ambulance with a United States insignia pulled up next to the destroyed plane.

“Everyone breathed a little easier,” said Reveman.

The line where Reveman crashed had been occupied by American forces only a few days prior. Two weeks later, the war ended.

Reveman received a Purple Heart award and five air medals, one medal for every five missions he flew.

The challenges returning veterans face


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the IAVA

When Anthony Pike returned home from his first tour of duty in Baghdad in 2004 nothing was waiting for him.

For years he had worked in community affairs and wrote articles for newspapers while in the Marine Corps. He expected to work in journalism back at home, but instead he couldn’t find work anywhere and ended up taking a job hanging flyers and posters.

Many young returning vets find themselves in a similar situation after serving their country, according to Pike.

“It’s frustrating,” he said, adding that he finally became a membership coordinator last year for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America [IAVA]. “There’s no reason why a combat medic who served in Afghanistan shouldn’t have a certification to be an EMT.”

Pike, 30, of Astoria, said returning vets face the problem where employers don’t hire them, because they don’t have the academic documents to verify their abilities.

“It’s an epidemic,” he said. “It’s part of the reason why military unemployment is higher than civilian unemployment.”

Although he didn’t engage in battle, when Pike came home, he began suffering from nightmares and had problems adjusting, others issues vets have to deal with.

“I try to separate the two,” said Sean McCabe, a vet from Ozone Park. “Instead of waking up every day thinking someone’s trying to get you, coming back home is a relief.” McCabe, 28, said he was never diagnosed, but he faced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD], in which sufferers have vivid memories of traumatic experiences. He credits his wife and his daughter with helping him overcome it.

“My wife has been the best,” McCabe said. “I could be in the darkest tunnel and she’ll walk out with me on the other side.”

He said many employers are also afraid to hire workers because they misunderstand PTSD, and the slim working availability makes him want to return to action.

“Not a day goes by where I think I wouldn’t mind being back there,” McCabe said. “I miss my guys and I was good at my job.”

To help vets get jobs and back to society, Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder has drafted two bills.

Bill 9969 would enable veterans to take civil service exams at discounted rates, giving them access to more jobs; Bill 9872 would allow for military service to be deemed eligible credit for a high school diploma.

“In these tough economic times we got to give every person the opportunity to succeed and get back to work, especially the vets who put their lives on the line,” Goldfeder said.

McCabe, who supports Goldfeder’s bills, said there is a “positive shift” and pointed to the work of the Wounded Warriors Project and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, organizations dedicated to helping veterans acclimate to civilian society.

“It’s really come a long way, there is still more to do,” McCabe said. “But they’re making their way.”