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New Flag Pole to Go up in Long Island City, Replaces Century-Old Pole Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

The Blissville Veterans Memorial (Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Mituzas)

May 27, 2021 By Christian Murray

A new flag pole will go up in the Blissville section of Long Island City where a century-old pole was located before it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The original flagpole, which was part of the Blissville Veterans Memorial that was established after WWI, was cut down by the city shortly after it was damaged by the hurricane.

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said that he had been trying to get the Dept. of Transportation to erect a new pole at the site—which is located where Greenpoint Avenue, Review Avenue, and Van Dam Street all meet—with little success.

Historic photo of the Blissville Veterans Memorial (Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Mituzas)

Van Bramer said that the agency had failed the community and that he has decided to step in and allocate $500,000 from the city budget to have it replaced.

“The Blissville Civic Association, Community Board 2 and [local resident] Thomas Mituzas have been trying to get the DOT to take responsibility and shamefully they refused at every turn,” Van Bramer said. “Ultimately, I wanted to get this done for the community.”

The $500,000 will be used to replace the flagpole, upgrade the memorial and the public space that surrounds it.

“I want this to be a civic space that the people of Blissvillle can take pride in,” Van Bramer said. “It is of great significance to the residents.”

Mituzas, a Blissville resident whose family has lived in the area since 1907, said that the flagpole means a great deal to the community, which consists of about 500 residents.

He said that many of his great uncles fought for the country and that it is a monument to them and others.

“I think of my great uncle and how he came home, with half of his face burned off,” Mituzas said. Many people suffered, he added, and should be remembered..

Historic photo of the Blissville Veterans Memorial (Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Mituzas)

Mituzas said that residents visit the memorial several times a year, such as on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and on July 4.

“Our memorial serves as a place to remember and honor all those Blissville residents who served our country and the families that sacrificed as well. It serves as a reminder of the travesties of war,” Mituzas said.

He has been advocating for a new flagpole since 2013 and has been helped by Lisa Deller and Sheila Lewandowski of Community Board 2 to get it done. He said he was especially grateful to Van Bramer for his backing.

“The people of Blissville deserve this,” Mituzas said. “Restoring this flagpole will provide the rightful honor to all who served and shall stand as a testament to the power that can exist when a community comes together.”

Mituzas said a remembrance ceremony will be held at the site on Memorial Day at 2:30 p.m.

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LIC Direct

Boy 9 long years to have a flag pole replaced??? a flag pole waiting since Sandy in October 2012 to have it installed at a cost of $500,000 dollars, are you [email protected]*king kidding me? No wonder this city is broke. Goes to show you the corruption and how useless and inefficient this councilman really is and have him get it installed right before the Memorial Day so he can use it for his campaign and his next photo-op. I wonder who got the kick-back for that one. Remember JVB is solely responsible for the dumping a few hundred homeless parolees in the men’s homeless shelter at Cityview. He did not stand up for Blissville, sold-out the 500+ Blissville families to the politically connected homeless hotel syndicate – he’s received thousands of dollars in donations from them for his war chest. This guy should never hold a public office again.

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Jimmy got it right.

Half a million dollars for a flagpole? How does a flagpole get damaged by wind and rain?
Who is going to raise and lower the flag each day?.
How many politicians will appear at the rededication?
Jimmy, you are doing something that is right. Amazing as it is.

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Real Sunnysidr

How about investing $500k in additional security/patrol measures around or relocating the homeless shelters La Quinta namely which you as a representative allowed into our neighborhood. $500k for a flagpole or help with kind of criminals brought into Sunnyside? Hard decisions

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Noa

So thankful to Tom Mituzas for his tenacity, commitment, and passion for a community that has been underserved for way too long.

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