2003-06-13 / Community

Clinton Blows Off BC Legion, Korean War Vets

By Tommy Hallissey
Clinton Blows Off BC Legion, Korean War Vets By Tommy Hallissey

Legion member Daniel O’Sullivan presents award.Legion member Daniel O’Sullivan presents award.

While Daniel O’Sullivan, a Korean War veteran and member of the Broad Channel post of the American Legion, was busy planning the 85th Annual Queens County Convention Parade for the American Legion commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, he received word that Senator Hillary Clinton wished to present a proclamation from the U.S. Senate honoring five Broad Channel veterans who made the supreme sacrifice for their country in that war. Last Thursday, however, the day before the celebration, which brought decorated veterans from all the American Legion posts in Queens, all O’Sullivan had received from Clinton’s office was a form letter vaguely addressed, ‘Dear Friends.’

"It is important that we honor the service of our nation’s veterans by making sure that we live up to our commitments to them," said Clinton, who incidentally did not fulfill her commitment of a proclamation from the United States Senate to T. August, Joseph DePietro, James Farrell, Walter Gross and Ralph Mitola, veterans of ‘the Forgotten War.’

Senator Clinton, who last week published her 576 page tell-all memoir Living History, offered a mere half-page worth of her thoughts for the five veterans who gave their lives to their country a half century ago. "She can give her time for her book but she can’t give her time for the ones who gave their lives and paid the supreme sacrifice," said O’Sullivan, 50th Anniversary Chairman, Korean War Celebration. In fact, O’Sullivan was so incensed by the impersonal nature of the letter that he refused to present it at the ceremony. "I felt it is an utter disgrace and a slap in the face to the families of the fallen War Heroes from our U.S. Senator," said O’Sullivan in a June 6 letter to Clinton. "Apparently you and your staff do not have the respect for our veterans, especially those that paid the ultimate sacrifice so that the American Flag may always fly free." Repeated calls to Clinton’s office received no response.

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, City Councilman Joe Addabbo and Congressman Tony Weiner were among the dignitaries on hand to present citations and medals to the veterans gathered for the awards ceremony last Friday at Veterans Memorial Park in Broad Channel. Two New York State Conspicuous Service Stars, as well as, proclamations from the Mayor’s office were among the awards presented. After the seven-gun salute, taps and the National Anthem, a parade to the American Legion Hall on 209 Cross Bay Blvd followed. "For the people of the Broad Channel community who never did come back from the Korean War," said Joe Severa, Commander, The American Legion.

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