You are reading

Woodside vet praises passage of Gianaris bill to provide proper burial for veterans who die alone

 

Nieves, with his wife Betty, as Gianaris inducted him into the Senate Veteran Hall of Fame in June. (Courtesy of Gianris’ office)

March 10, 2023 By Bill Parry

With Vietnam veterans dying off at a rate of nearly 400 a day nationwide, and many of them dying alone, state Senator Michael Gianaris announced Friday, March 10, that his bill to provide proper burials for veterans’ unclaimed remains passed unanimously, 60-0.

The measure, known as S.454, requires affected counties and the city of New York to work with a local veteran service organization to provide dignified burials, even when veterans do not have a next-of-kin or the means to provide for their burial. The local veteran’s service organization would contract with a funeral home to provide these services.

Nearly 59,000 veterans of the Vietnam War, the Korean War, World War II, and other conflicts call Queens home, more than any other borough in New York City.

“Those who served our country deserve a respectful funeral and burial,” Gianaris, whose grandfather and namesake was a U.S. Army veteran, said. “It is important our communities afford those who sacrificed the appropriate respect. I am proud of my Senate colleagues and I support our veterans.”

Woodside resident Pedro Nieves — was stationed in Italy, France, and Germany, serving in Field Artillery during World War II. Nieves also fought during the Korean War, where he served with the 65th Infantry Regiment, Company B, known as the “Borinqueneers,” an all-Puerto Rican Company.

Woodside veteran Pedro Nieves said he would be heartbroken if his fellow soldiers did not get a proper burial if they had no next-of-kin. (Gianaris’ office)

During that time, the 65th Regiment saw most of the combat, including the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was deployed in Korea until the end of the conflict in 1953.
Nieves applauded the passage of Gianaris’ measure.

“As a veteran myself, I fully support this legislation,” Nieves said. “A dignified burial honors the service and sacrifices of our veterans. I would be heartbroken if any of my fellow soldiers did not get a respectful burial. Thank you, Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris for sponsoring this important legislation and advocating on behalf of New York’s veterans.”

The number of participants grows smaller each fall at the Veterans Day observance at the Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Elmhurst Park. (Photo by Max Parrott)

Born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 1925, Nieves is a member of the Sunnyside Community Services’ Center for Active Older Adults, and last June, with his wife Betty by his side, Nieves was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame by Gianaris at the community center.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Jamaica man sentenced to five years for $4.5 million bank fraud and money laundering scheme

A Jamaica man was sentenced to five years in federal prison on Monday for his role in a wide-ranging bank fraud and money laundering conspiracy, which resulted in the misappropriation of approximately $4.5 million in victims funds.

Chinwendu Alisigwe, 38, was previously convicted following a trial in Manhattan federal court. According to the indictment and evidence offered at trial, from 2017 to 2020, Alisigwe used fake identifications to open 36 separate bank accounts at six different financial institutions, which he opened with more than a dozen fraudulent passports and other bogus identity documents bearing his photograph, but the names of other individuals.

16-year-old arrested after assault on 68-year-old grandmother heading to church in Jamaica Hills: NYPD

A 16-year-old Jamaica boy was arrested on Thursday and criminally charged in the vicious attack that left a 68-year-old grandmother in critical condition after the teen shoved her while she was heading to church in Jamaica Hills on Sunday morning.

Detectives from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows apprehended the teenager in front of his residence on 89th Avenue in Jamaica following a four-day manhunt. The incident occurred as Irene Tahliambouris was on her way to morning mass on April 7.

Cop injured by glass bottle thrown from 7 train station on Roosevelt Avenue: NYPD

An on-duty NYPD police officer was injured while standing on a foot post when he was struck by a glass bottle that was thrown from the 103rd Street-Corona Plaza, 7 train station above Roosevelt Avenue early Monday morning.

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst reported that the officer was in uniform standing in front of 103-28 Roosevelt Ave. just before 2 a.m., when a man threw the bottle from the Flushing-bound platform. It struck the officer’s head, causing a laceration and a concussion.