Rally Held To Support The Troops
On April 5 a large rally was held at the George Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park by the people of Queens County to show their support for the brave men and women fighting in Iraq. The rally went largely unreported by the news media.
At least 2,000 people, braving the cold and damp weather, filled the area in front of the bandshell for this non-partisan, non-political, All-Ameri-can rally, organized by New York State Senator Serphin Maltese.
Among the elected officials in attendance, besides Senator Maltese who led off the ceremonies, were Congressman Anthony Weiner, Assembly-woman Audrey Pheffer, Assemblymen Anthony Seminerio, Brian McLaugh-lin, Michael Cohen, NYC Councilman Denis Gallagher, former Councilman Thomas Ognibene, and head of the NYS Conservative Party Michael Long.
John Severa, American Legion Que-ens County Commander; and John Rowan, Vietnam Veterans of America, represented the veteran’s community. Deputy Mayor Denis Walker spoke on behalf of Mayor Bloomberg. There were also representatives from the Korean-American Association and oth-er community groups.
The rally commenced with a parade of colors led by the American Legion Queens County Color Guard, color guards from various Queens County Legion posts and Vietnam Veterans of America.
A clergyman delivered an invocation, various artists sang patriotic and religious songs and QCC Commander Severa read the American Legion resolution, which calls for remembrance of our POW’s and MIA"s, missing from several wars.
The Ambassador from Rumania said that his country supported our effort to liberate the people of Iraq from tyranny, as it has been only a few years since the people of Rumania were freed from the grip of a similar dictatorship.
Senator Maltese thanked everyone for braving the elements to show their solidarity with our troops, and he read a letter from President George Bush thanking the people of Queens County for their support.
A group of children were led on to the stage, where they unfurled a banner they had made, designed like an American flag, printed with statements of support for the men and women in military service. Senator Maltese said that he had contacted Carl Rowe, Advisor to President Bush, who assured him that the banner would be hung in a place of honor in the White House.