Michael Gallo honors veterans Goshen. He tied yellow ribbons at the veterans cemetery for his bar mitzvah good deed ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
Yellow ribbons graced the flagpoles at the Orange County Veterans Cemetery for Memorial Day (Photo provided)
Michael Gallo of Goshen, a student at C.J. Hooker Middle School, will have his bar mitzvah this month at Temple Beth Shalom in Florida, N.Y. As part of his preparation, he had a mitzvah (good deed) project to do — something that helps the community or a specific charity. He chose to honor military veterans. His Grandpa Joe and his Great-Grandpa Charles proudly served in the military — Joe in the Korean War and Charles in World War II. His cousin Lauren is currently serving as a U.S. Marine, in addition to several other family members and close friends who bravely served the country. With the help of family friend Howard Weiss, Michael met with Dave Andryshak, superintendent for the Orange County Veterans Cemetery. Michael wanted to honor veterans with ribbons for Memorial Day. Mr. Andryshak told him 40 yellow ribbons were needed for the flagpoles that line the entrance of the cemetery. Alders Wholesale Florist provided the ribbons at a discount. Michael then assembled them, cutting and adding red, white, and blue ribbons to the bottom. At 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 24, with the help of family and friends, Michael tied the ribbons to the flagpoles so that they would be ready for the busy Memorial Day weekend events. He also attached these same ribbons to the front of the Temple Beth Shalom cemetery pillars to honor the military veterans laid to rest there. Michael feels that this small gestures pales in comparison to what these people have done. "It's an honor to recognize the men and women who gave so much for the freedoms we have today," he said. "They deserve our admiration and respect — not just on Memorial and Veterans Day, but everyday."