As with every war the United States has fought in, invariably the surviving veterans come home to a changed world where the once familiar sometimes becomes unfamiliar and where some of the aftereffects of war that are not visible to the naked eye can only be shared with other veterans. In many instances, the local VFW becomes a kind of sanctuary or second home for these returning men and women.
Like so many of its programs that have assisted the surrounding community, All Faiths Cemetery, in Middle Village, has added one more by becoming that second home to VFW memorial stones that stood outside their now closed locations. VFW Posts 123 Haspel-Staab and 551 Ridgewood now have their memorial monuments located at a shaded site just a few yards inside the main entrance of All Faiths, on either end of the impressive 9/11 memorial stone. The site now has four monuments, each with its place in history, and was started when All Faiths Vice President James F. Goulet accidently hit upon a large, partially buried rock while excavating a gravesite. The large rock was painstakingly unearthed and after the World Trade Center attack, become the All Faiths 9/11 memorial after being engraved by stonecutter Stanley Barany.
When VFW Post 123 closed its doors in 2009, Goulet, whose grandfather William J. Staab was a member, was given the task of finding a proper spot for the stone. He decided on the location just to the left of the 9/11 memorial rock.
With the recent closing of the VFW 551 Post located at 60th Ave in Middle Village, Goulet set out with fellow VFW 551 members Harry Perks and Joe Gilmartin to have the Post’s memorial stone retired at All Faiths. To accomplish this undertaking, the three sought the assistance from Davydov Monuments in Middle Village, which helped move the memorial stone from its former location to All Faiths.
On Veterans Day, participants in the Veterans Day parade made their way to All Faiths Cemetery and concluded their march with the dedication of the newly placed VFW 551 memorial monument. James Goulet emphasized that the men and women who served this country can know that those unique VFW memorial monuments that carry so many memories have now found a permanent home.