Tag Archives: Veteran

Requiem for Booker T. Gibson

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com) 
March 18, 2016

Instead of writing this right now, I’d be at Booker T. Gibson’s funeral at Union Baptist Church in Hempstead, if I’d learned about his March 10th death sooner, rather than a few minutes ago when I read his moving obituary by journalist Scott Brinton.

Merrick, New York, USA. May 27, 2013. Veteran Booker T. Gibson at Annual Memorial Day Parade 2013, hosted by American Legion Merrick Post No. 1282, with ceremony at Merrick Veteran Memorial Park. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 27, 2013. Veteran Booker T. Gibson at Annual Memorial Day Parade 2013, hosted by American Legion Merrick Post No. 1282. (© 2013 Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Booker was an active member of the American Legion Merrick Post 1282, and I’m a member of its Auxiliary. We first met on December 10, 2011, at the Northport VA Medical Center, where he played piano to accompany our AL Post members singing Christmas carols to patients. Which was more mesmerizing and expressive: Booker’s big bright eyes, his hands as they played, or his warm personality? I can’t decide.

Close-up of Booker T Gibson's hands as he plays piano at Northport VA medical Center, on Dec. 19, 2011. Light vignette. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Northport, New York, USA. December 19, 2011. Close-up of Booker T Gibson’s hands as he plays piano at Northport VA medical Center to accompany American Legion Merrick Post 1282 singers. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Years ago, filmmaker André Joseph contacted me to license editorial photos for EPYX Productions’ 2013 documentary film on Booker T. Gibson. When we spoke, Joseph’s deep respect for Gibson was clear, as it was later in his 2013 documentary:

AJ EPYX Documentary film:  Book T. Gibson: A Teacher’s Journey

Writing this visual requiem, I feel both sad (quite sad) and profoundly grateful to have known and photographed fellow Merrokean, fellow teacher, fellow lover of music, Booker T. Gibson.

American Legionnaires, Booker T. Gibson at right, riding in classic car in Merrick Memorial Day Parade on May 28, 2012, on Long Island, New York, USA. America's war heroes are honored on this National Holiday. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 28, 2012. American Legionnaires, Booker T. Gibson at right, riding in classic car in Merrick Memorial Day Parade. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Photos of Booker T. Gibson playing piano

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Final Roll Call – Merrick Memorial Day Parade 2014

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
May 26, 2011

Once again, three generations of our family attended the Merrick Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony.

Merrick, New York, U.S. - May 26, 2014 - A veteran salutes fire fighters marching in The Merrick Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, hosted by American Legion Post 1282 of Merrick, honors those who died in war while serving in the United States military. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, U.S. – May 26, 2014 – Merrick Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, hosted by American Legion Post 1282 of Merrick. (© 2014 Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

This morning it was even more moving than usual because Dad’s name was read during the American Legion Merrick Post 1282  “Final Roll Call” near the end of the memorial events at Merrick Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Merrick, New York, U.S. - May 26, 2014 - Mother holds her 2-year-old son who is pointing to a Fire Engine in the Merrick Memorial Day Parade, hosted by American Legion Post 1282 of Merrick, honoring those who died in war while serving in the United States military. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, U.S. – May 26, 2014 –  Merrick Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony. (©2014  Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

We miss you and we love you, Dad.

Photo Gallery:  Merrick Memorial Day 2014

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Pearl Harbor Survivor, 70 Years Later

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
December 7, 2011

Today, on the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, I’m thinking back to this summer when I first met one of Long Island’s few remaining Pearl Harbor survivors, BILL HALLERAN, a member of Merrick Post #1282 of the American Legion.

William Halleran, Pearl Harbor survivor, and member of Merrick Post 1282 of American Legion, on August 13, 2011. photo © 2011 Ann Parry, NOTE: Halleran placed on blue backdrop digitally. (Ann E Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

William Halleran, Pearl Harbor survivor, and member of Merrick Post 1282 of American Legion, on August 13, 2011, digital background (© 2011 Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

In the below photo, Halleran and his fellow American Legion members are at Merrick Post #1282’s summer barbecue hosted for Veterans from New York State Nursing Home at Stony Brook.

Veterans, including Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Halleran (standing at left), at Merrick Post #1282 of American Legion barbecue hosted for Veterans from New York State Nursing Home at Stony Brook NY, in Merrick, New York, USA, on August, 13, 2011. American Legion vetearns standing wearing shirts with big American flag on them, and WWII Veteran in middle is wheelchair decorated with American flags. NOTE: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. RESTRICTIONS also include image is NOT for use for Sensitive Issues, Nor Religious issues, nor Political Issues. (Ann Parry/© Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. August 13, 2011. Veterans, including Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Halleran (at left), at Merrick Post #1282 of American Legion barbecue. (© 201  Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick Post #1282 American Legion barbecue:   slideshow    gallery

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Keeping Up with Gov. Cuomo on Memorial Day

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
June 2, 2011

By mid-morning on Monday, May 30, the rain and lightning stopped, and gray skies slowly turned blue, so it turned out a better day than expected to photograph two New York Memorial Day parades – first in Merrick and then Little Neck.

Click here for slideshow of Memorial Day Parade

MAY 30, 2011 - Little Neck, New York, U.S. - New York Governor ANDREW CUOMO stops to speak and shake hands with MARK KOPPELMAN, a U.S. Army veteran wearing US Press Corp Photographer Pass, of Oakland Gardens, during Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, on Northern Boulevard on May 30, 2011. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Little Neck, New York, USA. May 30, 2011. – NY Governor ANDREW CUOMO speaks with MARK KOPPELMAN, a U.S. Army Press Corp Photographer veteran, of Oakland Gardens, during Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Photographing my hometown parade was like a pleasant, festive stroll up Merrick Avenue, with plenty of time and room to go wherever needed along the two-lane street.

However, on that hot and humid afternoon, photographing Governor ANDREW CUOMO and his fellow marchers in the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade felt more like participating in an extreme sport. A brisk walker, Gov. Cuomo frequently went from side to side of vast Northern Boulevard to shake hands or chat with Veterans and other onlookers; plus, I was surrounded by innocent people and banners best not to slam into.

Loved every minute of it.

Click here Parade slideshow

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