(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Memorial Day Ceremonies In NYC, Across Country Honor Fallen Service Members

May 28, 2018 - 1:25 pm

WASHINGTON (1010 WINS/P) -- President Donald Trump says he's come to the "sacred soil" of Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day to honor "the lives and deeds of America's greatest heroes."

He told an audience of Cabinet members, military leaders, veterans, families of the fallen and others gathered Tuesday in the marble amphitheater near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that all Americans "strive to be worthy" of the sacrifice they made on behalf of a thankful nation.

Trump marked his second Memorial Day as commander in chief by laying a wreath at the tomb.

Before heading to the hallowed grounds across the Potomac River from the nation's capital, Trump said in a tweet that "those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today."

He is being criticized for his self-congratulatory tone in that tweet in which he also cited the growing economy and low unemployment.

Trump sent the tweet Monday before heading to Arlington National Cemetery to pay tribute to those who died in service to the U.S.

Martin Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Obama administration, tweeted: "This day, of all days of the year, should not be about any one of us."

John Kirby, a State Department spokesman in the Obama administration, called Trump's tweet "one of the most inappropriate, ignorant and tone-deaf things our Commander-in-Chief could have said on a day like today."

There was also a wreath-laying ceremony in our area, at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum honoring fallen service members.

Sonia Rincon was there for the New York tradition where a large American flag was unfurled and four wreaths were placed in the Hudson River.

Joining Mayor Bill de Blasio to lay the commemorative wreaths on the Hudson in this New York City tradition was a 102-year-old World War II veteran. Lt. Col. Richard Cole is the last surviving Doolittle raider – a copilot in that raid over Japan in 1942.

He remembered the other who served with him.

“Thinking about the 79 other guys – wishing they were here,” Cole said.

Mayor de Blasio said the city’s first obligation on Memorial Day is to honor those who sacrificed their lives.

“Think about them as people who did something so brave, but then our next obligation is to support all of those who came back,” he said.

Meanwhile in Commack, Carmela Raguso proudly marched in the Memorial Day Parade with her two young daughters. Her late husband, FDNY Lt. Christopher Raguso, was precisely why we celebrate Memorial Day.

Besides being a fire lieutenant, Lt. Raguso was also a member of the New York Air National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq in March, but his helicopter crashed into power lines, and he and the other crewmembers were killed. His widows said he was born to be a hero.

“He was a teacher. He was a do-gooder. He was a helper. He was the best version of himself when he was helping others,” Carmela Raguso told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. “He was a shining star.”

Lt. Raguso was also a member of the Commack Volunteer Fire Department.