Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation held a festive Veteran’s Day celebration on Thursday afternoon, November 9, commemorating the sacrifice of service members, represented by a handful of resident veterans. The program once again featured the musical delight of The Melodeons, an all-senior, Queens-based chorus. The group enthusiastically sang varied classics from yesteryear, including marvelous solos, while dressed in showy top hats, bowties, cummerbunds, and suspenders. They showed their patriotic colors with the US and Israel national anthems.

“We are celebrating the service of all the veterans, and we are fortunate to have former troop members here at Margaret Tietz from every arm of the service,” said Linda Spiegel, Director of Public Affairs. “You have made this country and those where you served as great as they each are because you protected all of us making the world a safer place for humanity.”

Veterans each received applause as they were singled out: Hannah Deutch, British Army nurse; Miriam Weinberg, Israel Defense Force; Jack Alkana, U.S. Navy during WWII; Charles Antley, U.S. Army, and Marine Corp; John Bethea, U.S. Army; Roy Bruchie, U.S. Army; Willy Cannon, U.S. Army; Jay Duke, U.S. Airforce; Jennings Genztler, U.S. Army during Korean War; Mark Graber, U.S. Army; John Kilcommons, U.S. Navy; Franklin Martin, U.S. Air Force during the Korean War; Willy Pete, Marine Corp.; and Walter Sanford, U.S. Airforce.

“We honor the veterans for the sacrifices you have made for the freedoms, blessings, and tolerance that we here in America enjoy,” expressed Assembly Member Sam Berger in his first visit to the facility as an elected official. Berger then presented the praiseworthy veterans with New York State Assembly Citations for their service.

Ricardo Rosa Solo, Director of Recreation, enlisted the help of residents to share thoughts. “I have been through many wars and had four uncles who served. One of my uncles fell in France when I was eight years old. When the telegram arrived, I will never forget reading it to my grandmother,” related the resident spokesperson. “It is a blessing to see all these wonderful veterans here today. I am 89 years old, and I thank G-d for every day.”

Deutch, 101, is a Jewish War Veterans member. She spoke of last year’s remembrance at Tietz, when she was joined by her son and noted the significance of an American flag she once received. Deutch’s loved ones sent a letter to the office of Senator Charles Schumer requesting for our country’s flag to be hoisted on July 3, 2022, in honor of her 100th birthday.

Jack Alkana enlisted in his last year in high school and soon joined the U.S. Navy, serving in England and Scotland during WWII after joining the European Theater of Operations (ETO) from 1942 to 1945. Jack boarded the RMS Queen Mary for his return to America after he wed. He was joined by a cousin, Elliot Bar David, whose father was Jack’s first cousin. Upon return, Jack took three Regents exams to receive a high school diploma and used the G.I. Bill to continue on to NYU, where he got his undergraduate and graduate degrees and went for a PhD. Jack is an educationalist who had a career as a teacher and moved up to become a principal, making a true mark in the world.

The QJL extends congratulations to Rachel Epstein, a Melodeon performer, on her recent engagement to Gershon Katz. Mazal tov to her father, Chayim Gershon; children Yoni and Thalita, and their kids, Aurora and Matheo; Aharon and Natalee (pizzaiolo at Pizza Professor), Eliezer; sister Debbi Alter, and siblings Aryeh and Litza Gershon, and their kids, Eli, Ezra, and Joshua; Ryan and Amanda Wagman, and their kids, Danny, and Sarb. Mazal tov to his family, Jon and Elle Weichselbaum, and their newborn Sara Nili; Skylar and Chloe; Adina Katz; Trevor Pesout, and his siblings Rich Katz, and Brandon and Ava Katz.

By Shabsie Saphirstein