On December 7, the Long Island Air Force Association chapter honored the 80th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and all veterans of World War II with the annual Dropping of the Roses program.
The program was started by the late Joseph Hydrusko who was a Navy medic serving at Pearl Harbor during the attack on December 7th, 1941. He was credited with saving countless lives as the Japanese aircraft dropped their bombs on the Navy fleet. In 1970, Hydrusko started a tradition of dropping American Beauty Roses, one for each anniversary year, over the Statue of Liberty while flying his own aircraft. The “Dropping of the Roses” was his way of paying a personal tribute to the men and women who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Following his death in 1974, Hydrusko’s friends from the “Skytypers” and the Air Force Association continued on with the tradition. The annual ceremony took place at the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport, Farmingdale, New York.