Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced that NYCB LIVE’s new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum presented by New York Community Bank will honor the men and women who have served our nation, as well as first responders and those lost on 9/11, with a silent, powerful tribute by designating eight seats that will remain unused at all times.
“It is fitting that the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum devote a respectful memorial to those who made the supreme sacrifice, those who remain Missing in Action or Prisoners of War and all those who answered the call of our nation,” said County Executive Edward P. Mangano. “These chairs serve as a daily reminder of our gratitude, and allow each of us to pause and remember what these men and women sacrificed for our nation.”
The eight seats, placed throughout the arena, will be dedicated to Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action; five branches of the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard); first responders, including firefighters, law enforcement and emergency medical service members; and collectively, those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Each seat will be embroidered with the logo of the group it represents, and will be marked with a plaque identifying its significance.
Last fall, as the renovations were underway at the Coliseum, Paul Masi - a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran and Bethpage resident - approached County Executive Mangano about dedicating a POW/MIA chair in the new venue to honor those who fought for our country and have not returned home. The POW/MIA Chair will remind guests of the more than 91,000 service members who are POW and MIA since World War I. County Executive Mangano shared Mr. Masi’s idea with the developers and the arena’s management team, who enthusiastically supported the idea and suggested expanding the initiative to recognize other service members, as well as the groups listed above.
“As a veteran, I’ve committed part of my life to advocating on behalf of POWs and MIAs,” said Masi. “For those who went in harm’s way, and were captured or remain missing, we have a responsibility never to forget. Forty years after the war ended, it may appear to some as old news. But it isn’t. We cannot forget. I hope these seats remind all of us of the services all of these men and women – military and other first responders – have provided their country.”
Chairs of Honor can be found in public spaces ranging from professional sports stadiums to small town city halls, and everywhere in between. A POW/MIA chair in any location is to remain perpetually empty to help people remember that even though our military men and women are not here, there is still a space for them.
“We are proud to deliver Long Islanders the best-in-class venue they deserve,” said Roland Guevara, Vice President of Community Relations for Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “What has not changed about the venue is its significance as a living memorial to our veterans. These seats speak to that commitment, and for guests, they serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made to preserve our liberties.”