Veterans Groups to Host Candlelight Vigil for Slain Staten Island Solider
The Staten Island Veteran Group will host the vigil for Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, 24, of New Dorp, at the Great Kills Veterans Memorial, near the Great Kills train station, starting at 8:30 p.m., according to their Facebook page.
"Today, we are mourning the loss of a New Yorker who volunteered to put himself in harm’s way to protect the freedoms we all enjoy," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement last week. "As New Yorkers, we owe a special debt of gratitude to those who serve in our military, because New York City is in many ways America’s greatest symbol of freedom."
Ollis joined the army in August 2006, and was previously deployed to Iraq from 2008 to 2009 and Afghanistan in 2010 to 2011, a spokesman for the U.S. base in Fort Drum, N.Y., said.
Organizers asked attendees to bring their own candles to the vigil. Flowers brought to the vigil will be moved to Ollis’ parents home in New Dorp afterwards.
The vigil is expected to last an hour, the Staten Island Veteran Group said.