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Lawrence Keane Post celebrates Veteran’s Day

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Pelham Bay’s Lawrence Keane American Legion Post commemorated another Veteran’s Day on Friday, November 11.

The celebration began at 11 a.m. with a remembrance ceremony at Keane Square. Keane Post members, along with friends and family members took the short walk back to its headquarters for lunch and an afternoon of reflection and catching up with old acquaintances.

“We’re so grateful that we have this ceremony each year,” said 83-year-old post commander Lou Durante.

“But we do need contributions. We need them badly to keep this memorial going each year,” he said.

Durante, a Pelham Bay resident, served in World War II, along with three brothers.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto also attended the ceremony and spent some time with the members back at the post afterwards.

“The Lawrence Keane Post is one of the most active posts going,” Benedetto said. “They’re a great group of vets.”

Benedetto also said that while the holiday is a great chance to recognize veterans each year, its a reminder that the United States does not do nearly enough for those who come back home after their military service, especially considering unemployment figures for veterans are higher than non veterans.

“While we’re all proud to be Americans, their deeds should be better rewarded, and not just verbally,” he said. “There’s the issue of health care, proper transition into the workforce. These are people who are trained and disciplined.”

The Keane Post serves as a clubhouse for veterans to spend time together and maintain and sense of brotherhood and community. It is also an epicenter for charitable acts in the community. The members are already getting ready for their annual Christmas toy drive.

Post member Lou Bastone said he would like to see more recent veterans get involved.

“We’re very happy for the turnout today,” he said. “But we wish we could get new membership. We want to get the young guys involved.”

Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at bweisbrod@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394.

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