Saluting our veterans — with champagne!

Memorial Day commemoration: Marlboro Post Commander Joe Esposito led a pre-Memorial Day celebration at the Gravesend post on Avenue X on May 20.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Nothing says Memorial Day like a good bottle of champagne.

More than 80 members of Marlboro Post 1437 held a Memorial Day ceremony at the Gravesend group’s 66-year-old social hall on Avenue X near W. Third Street on May 20 — and then toasted their fellow veterans with a little bit of well-deserved bubbly.

The post’s annual champagne breakfast drew vets from World War II the Korean War, the War in Vietnam, and members of the Ladies Auxiliary group, according to one of event’s organizers and past American Legion post commander Sossio Compagnone.

“I was very happy with the turnout,” said Compagnone, an Army sergeant in Korea and retired photo engraver who’s volunteered with the post for the past several decades. “So many people showed up. This place is like a second home for us.”

Retired Lt. Col. Al Zafresi said he attended to pay tribute to his aging army buddies.

“It’s good to see veterans who still carry themselves proudly,” said Zafresi, who served from 1952 to 1973.

But Zafresi said younger veterans from the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars were conspicuously missing.

“I was disappointed not to see any young men,” Zafresi said. “The most patriotic veterans are dying out.”

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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