Streets to honor late veterans, public servant
by Patrick Kearns
May 30, 2017 | 1164 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two local veterans and a longtime public servant will be forever memorialized in southeast Queens thanks to Councilman Donovan Richards and Councilman Eric Ulrich.

As part of a 53-bill package that passed through the City Council on Wednesday, May 24, the intersection of 191st Street and Nashville Boulevard in Springfield Gardens will be co-named Julius Freeman Way.

Freeman, who passed away in 2016, served his country as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American military pilots that fought in World War II. After returning home to Queens, he had a long career in the auto industry.

In his lifetime, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush and the Rosa Parks Award from the Lakeview Democratic Club, and was invited to the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

The intersection of 132nd Avenue and Farmers Boulevard in Springfield Gardens will be co-named Walter Kelly Jr. Way.

Kelly played in the United States Army band during the Korean War, where he achieved the rank of sergeant.

He received a certificate of recognition for his service in promoting peace and stability for the United States of America from Donald Rumsfeld, former secretary of defense, and a certificate of merit for his dedication and service to the United States Military.

As a civilian, he played with the United States Post Office band by day and performed at concerts and nightclubs throughout New York City. He was an integral member of the famed Harlem jazz scene during the 1950s and 60s.

“The service and dedication of Julius Freeman and Walter Kelly Jr. should never be forgotten since their lives helped improve their communities and our country for the better,” said Richards.

Meanwhile, the 163rd Avenue pedestrian bridge in West Hamilton Beach after the late Joel A. Miele, Sr.

Miele, a Navy veteran and resident of Howard Beach at the time of his death in 2013, was a lifelong public servant who served as a member of the City Planning Commissioner, Buildings commissioner and commissioner of Environmental Protection under Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“Joel was the epitome of a good citizen,” Ulrich said. “He was known throughout the community as a leader and friend, having dedicated his life to helping others.”
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