American Legion plans virtual Memorial Day events

Highlights video and Lincoln interpreter on tap for May 25

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By Bob Uphues


Although the village of Riverside has canceled its annual Memorial Day ceremony, members of Riverside American Legion Post #488 and Riverside TV are endeavoring to bring ways to mark the May 25 holiday, which honors those who have given their lives in service of the nation.

In lieu of the ceremony itself, which includes reciting the names of all 54 Riverside residents who have died while serving in the Armed Forces from World War I onward, the event's organizer Tom Sisulak has been working with the production staff of Riverside TV to produce a "highlights" video from past ceremonies.

Sisulak, who is a member of Legion Post 488's Squadron auxiliary, said that he and the Riverside TV crew believe they will have the video ready to air on Comcast Channel 6, AT&T UVerse Channel 99, the Riverside TV website and the Riverside TV YouTube channel on Memorial Day, May 25.

Included in that video will be a segment recognizing this year's "honored veteran," Riverside resident Dr. Joseph E. Troiani, who retired after a 32-year career with the U.S. Navy Reserve at the rank of commander.

During his time serving in the Navy, Troiani was assigned to the Naval Investigative Service (renamed NCIS), and various divisions of the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program. From 1999 until his retirement in 2010, he was a faculty member for the Strategic Intelligence Program at the Defense Intelligence Agency's National Intelligence University in Washington, D.C. 

Troiani has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fielding Graduate University, and he is associate professor of clinical psychology at Adler University, where he has taught since 1993.

He has worked extensively with veterans who have returned from overseas duty, from Vietnam era veterans to those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Troiani's bio, he currently lectures on "Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues with Returning Iraq and Afghan War Veterans" to the professional behavioral health community.

American Legion Post 488 will also host a free Zoom program, open to the public, on May 25 at 3 p.m., featuring Abraham Lincoln interpreter George Buss.

Buss will perform Lincoln's second inaugural address, delivered in 1865 during the closing days of the Civil War.

"The nation's emotion at the time of the address, at the end of slavery and beginning of Reconstruction, perfectly fits that of the nation today through concerns of our own reconstruction," said American Legion Post 488 Commander Joseph Topinka in an email.

More information about the presentation can be found on Post 488's Facebook page or at their website.

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