(SYOSSET, N.Y.) - Ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (Woodbury) joined members of the Scutari family and local Syosset community leaders on Friday, July 3 to celebrate the ceremonial re-naming of Underhill Boulevard in Syosset between Jackson Avenue and Queens Street in honor of beloved Syosset World War II veteran and community leader Gus Scutari.
At Syosset Memorial Park, more than a dozen elected officials, commanders of veterans’ organizations, educational entities and leaders of the Syosset Fire Department reflected on Mr. Scutari’s life and paid tribute to his patriotism, valor in combat, compassion and razor-sharp wit while highlighting the spirit of shared sacrifice he and his contemporaries in the Greatest Generation embodied and embraced.
Mr. Scutari, who joined the U.S. Navy at the height of World War II, fought valiantly in the Pacific theater of the war and became a distinguished community leader upon his return to civilian life. A former Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Syosset Post No. 175, he was perhaps best known as “Mr. Memorial Day” for organizing Syosset’s annual Memorial Day from 1991 to 2008. Mr. Scutari passed away on April 9, 2020 at the age of 99.
“Gus knew his legacy would live on in many places - in the children he inspired, in his fellow veterans he loved, and in the Syosset Memorial Day parade each year. But it got me thinking - how you build such a legacy that Gus Scutari left us all?” Legislator Lafazan said. “I think the answer is quite simple - you live the life with the values, the spirit and the honor that Gus Scutari did. On the eve of Independence Day, we are reminded of the life and contributions of Gus Scutari - one of the greatest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing.”
Following an American Legion color guard presenting the colors, Syosset-based Boy Scout Troop 170 opened the ceremony by leading the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of “National Anthem.” Bottled water and pizza, the latter donated by nearby Cousins Pizza and Pasta, were available for guests after the ceremony.
PHOTO CAPTION (top photo) - Justin Zorbo, left, and Legislator Lafazan unveil the sign for Gus Scutari Way in Syosset Memorial Park on Friday, July 3.
PHOTO CAPTION (bottom photo) Legislator Lafazan speaks at Syosset Memorial Park on Friday, July 3 as, from left, Nassau Legislator Arnold W. Drucker and NYS Assemblyman Michael Montesano look on.
Photos by Rena Thomas/Office of Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan