Navy SEAL Jonathan Kaloust Laid to Rest
Military funeral in Massapequa Park.
Kaloust who was killed last week during a training exercise at Fort Knox, was laid to rest following a solemn ceremony at Massapequa Funeral home's north chapel in Massapequa Park. He is survived by his parents and sister.
"He was a quiet leader," said legendary Massapequa High School wrestling coach Al Bevilaqua, who helped guide Kaloust as an athlete. "And that personality makes him a success, no matter what he chooses."
There was a naval honor guard on hand and representatives from the Nassau County Police and local fire department.
Among those attending the service were Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.
King called the service "avery moving and said that Kaloust "died a hero."
"It says a lot about Massapequa and a lot about Long Island and a lot about our country that we can produce young men like this.," he said.
Mangano said he was able to spend some time with the sailors grieving family, saying, "They're strong they're patriots."
Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna said that flags in the Village were flown at half staff Thursday and will remain that way through Friday.
"It's an honor to have this young man here and we're deeply saddened by his loss, especially during Memorial day," he said. "It hits home, the sacrifices these young men and women have to make."
The turnout by the community was impressive as hundreds of people, many wearing red or holding American flags lined Park Boulevard for four blocks from Clark Boulevard to the LIRR station.
"All of the community is out today to show their support for his family, and pay tribute toone of our heroes," said Oyster Bay Town Councilman Joe Ptinto. "He lived in our community, played on our fields, went to our schools and it's just a terrible tragedy."
One of the reasons for the outpouring of support was an internet campaign put together by Kathleen O'Connor of the Massapequa Mom's group.
"I put myself in the position of his parents and I just thought it would be great if the community would come out and show their respect for the family and for Jonathan," she said.
Kaloust made his final journey past streets crowded with friends, neighbors and loved ones all giving thanks for his service and sacrifice.
"The kid had something this country needs," said Bevilaqua, and that's people who love our country."