Local American Legions, groups to salute veterans

With Veterans Day this Saturday, Nov. 11, North Fork American Legions and other groups will pay tribute to all those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

American Legion Post 273, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2476 and their auxiliaries are hosting a Veterans Day ceremony at the World War I monument at Court and West Main streets in Riverhead. According to Bob Robesch, adjutant of American Legion Post 273, the annual event will include an opening prayer by local clergy, short presentations by commanders of the VFW and Legion, wreath presentations by the posts and their auxiliaries, a performance of taps and a traditional rifle volley. 

The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. They will begin assembling at the granite monument by 10:45 a.m., Mr. Robesch said, and the ceremony should conclude around 11:30 a.m. The American Legion Hall on Hubbard Avenue will host a gathering with refreshments after the Veterans Day ceremony.

In Southold Town, Mattituck American Legion Post 861 invites the public to attend its Veterans Day services Saturday at 11 a.m. around the monument in front of the post, at the corner of Wickham Avenue and Pike Street. 

Commander Dave DeFriest of Griswold-Terry-Glover Post 803 said the American Legion will conduct a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday at 51655 Main Road, Southold. He said the color guard with flags will open the ceremony. Speeches will be given by Commander DeFriest, past commander Charles Sanders and Joan Cochran, president of the ladies auxiliary. Members of the local high school Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) will gather in formation on the legion lawn. The event will be held outside, weather permitting. 

Later that evening, starting at 7 p.m., the Riverhead Elks Lodge will present a “Rockin’ for the Vets” concert. This year’s lineup includes the Pamela Betti Band, Joe Hampton & the Kingpins and Bingo Bango. The shindig goes down at 1239 East Main St., Riverhead. Tickets are $20 and include live music, hors d’oeuvres and 50/50 raffle.

Pamela Betti of the Pamela Betti Band said, “David Wellen approached me a number of years ago to have my band play, and I jumped on the opportunity to participate. My father was a Korean War vet and Purple Heart recipient and his brothers were in World War II. I believe strongly about supporting our veterans. My best friend and harmonica player, Mark Fowler — a Long Island music legend — was in Vietnam, so it’s so important for us to show our support any way we can. Freedom isn’t free and I’m grateful to our troops.”

On Sunday, Nov. 12, the No Doubt World Famous Riverhead Community Band will present its fall concert honoring America and its veterans. It is at the Pulaski Street School auditorium, 300 Pulaski St., Riverhead. The music starts at 2 p.m. This will be the opening performance of band’s 2023-24 concert season. The set includes patriotic tunes, holiday selections and a salute to the Armed Forces.

The Long Island Aquarium celebrates veterans and their families Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11. Veterans are offered free admission, with half-price entry for their families. Veterans must show valid identification, be present and purchase tickets in person.