Four veterans received citations of honor during Wednesday's Veterans Day Observance Ceremony for their service in the military and for their contributions to Queens as civilians. NY1's Van Tieu filed the following report.
Four veterans recognized during Wednesday’s Veteran’s Day Observance Ceremony weren’t just commended for their honorable service in the military, but also for their contributions to Queens as civilians.
Including, Sergeant Jason Sagebiel, a United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper who was injured in combat while serving in Iraq. He suffered traumatic brain injuries.
“When I had to relearn how to do many things, it’s what really inspired me about the teaching process."
Sagebiel opened Sage Music School in Long Island City. During the ceremony he played guitar, while one of his students sang the national anthem, and “America, The Beautiful.”
“ I learned so much about the education process, for me it’s really fulfilling to be able to help people learn in a better way,” Sagebiel said of his new life as an educator.
Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz, also presented citations honoring Specialist 4th Class Leroy Barnes, a Vietnam war veteran and advocate for veterans' causes. Pearl Harbor survivor, United States Navy Sergeant, Arthur Grabiner, shared his account of the attack and received honors for his service as well.
"When folks come home from serving their country, they become educators, and police officers, and continue their service,” explained Katz.
That was also the case for World War 2 and Korean War veteran, James McNamee Senior. After the wars, he had a long career in the New York City Police Department, and retired as a deputy inspector.
“When I returned from the service, we had no celebration or what have you,” McNamee said.
He said the tribute in Queens so many years after was is an honor, and he has no regrets.
“I would do it again, if I could,” he said of his service to the country.
Also to honor American veterans, flags representing the five U.S. military branches will be displayed outside of Queens Borough Hall until Veterans Day, as suggested by the Queens County American Legion.