by Barbara Guarino Kruk

There is an honor associated with the privilege of right of burial in a National Cemetery. Only honorably discharged veterans of both domestic, and foreign service, their spouses, and in those instances where a minor child, or a disabled child, dies, they too can be buried under the discharge of their parent.
It is with great pride that we can offer veterans the information available regarding their right of burial. Surprisingly, many veterans are still unaware of this benefit of service. Not only does the government provide a burial plot for the veteran, it also provides a concrete liner and headstone. If the veteran was married more than once both, their spouse is granted the same benefits. For those who choose cremation, there is also niches` for cremated remains with the same benefits of spouse and child, as for interment.
We are so fortunate to have Calverton National Cemetery right here on the east end. One only needs to take a ride through this sprawling facility to feel the presence of pride and care. From the grounds which are meticulously maintained, to the staff who graciously assist visitors with locating the burial site of their loved one, there is a sense of calm and caring.
One of the most inspiring aspects of interment in a national cemetery is that all the workers, from the office staff to the grounds crew are veterans. These men and woman serve and preserve the memory and honor of their fallen comrades with dignity and respect. They know the sacrifice these deceased have made to earn them the right of burial in such hallowed ground.
There are countless stories of those who have chosen to work at the national cemetery. One man left a job he had to work at the national cemetery. His reason was to be near his son who died in the line of duty. While the heartache at the loss of his son will never leave him, this father wears his grief with the greatest pride. His son died serving his country.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Calverton National Cemetery on Memorial Day, I guarantee that you will never look upon a national cemetery with anything other than pride. Thousands of tiny American flags adorn each grave. These flags serve as a symbol of our country and represent our freedom. The flags remind us of the ultimate sacrifice of each man and woman who was remanded to this sacred place.
Pride of country, pride of service, pride of place, are all the watchwords echoed throughout these venerable acres. Each of the thousands of markers is a testament to the courage and selflessness of those who served.
Memorial Day is a solemn reminder of lives lost, freedom won, and honor gained. Memorial Day is a day we commemorate for those who fought for freedom and liberty.
When a veteran is entrusted to the care of the cemetery workers, he or she is not some nameless corpse, they are a comrade, and great care is taken to respect the dignity of the deceased.
I know the deep respect accorded each veteran, for I have entrusted the men and woman who work at Calverton National with my beloved father, my father-in-law, and my mother-in-law. When God calls me, and my husband Connie home, we too will share in the honor of interment in this most special place.
It will be with great appreciation and gratitude for I will know that those who care for these grounds know that one of their own is happy for their service.
To every veteran who has served, I say thank you for your service. For those men and women around this country and around this world who defend our freedom and the freedom of others, I say thank you for your service.
May God bless you; and this wonderful land I call home. God Bless America.
Catherine Berryman, age 100, of Eastport, passed away on May 25, 2016. She is predeceased by her beloved husband Edward. She is survived by her loving daughter Patricia Vigliotta and her husband Chris, her sister Rita Appallaro, five grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.Visitation was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home. A funeralMass was held at Sts. Peter and Paul RC Church in Manorville and interment followed to St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Smithtown.

Angelina Colonel, age 82 of Mastic Beach, passed away on May 25, 2016. She is predeceased by her husband Frank and her son Michael Gusman. She is survived by her daughter, Lori Armor, her brother Frank Ferrara, and two grandchildren. Visitation was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was held at St. John’s RC Church in Center Moriches. Interment followed after Mass to Calverton National Cemetery.

Louise Massaro, age 90 of Manorville, passed away peacefully on May 24, 2016. She is survived by her beloved husband Frank, her loving children Thomas and Marlene, her sister Rose Geier, and her three grandchildren. Visitation was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was held at St. John’s RC Church in Center Moriches and interment followed to Calverton National Cemetery.

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