<BGSOUND SRC="taps.mp3" LOOP=1> 2017 West Point Rites Honoring NYC DOC Commissioner Marcus  

Above: far right, DOC Staff Chaplain Justin von Bujdoss, far left, DOC photographer C.O. Nishaun McCall.

Several DOCers, current and former, uniformed and civilian, participated in the 51st annual Mickey Marcus Memorial Service held Sunday, May 7, 2017, at West Point Military Academy in honor of the fallen North American volunteers in Israelís War of Independence.

Investigator Michael Picard, president of the DOC Maccabees Society, observes 2017 West Point Academy cemetery ceremonies honoring former DOC Commissioner Marcus.  
Images of DOCers' participation in the memorial services are featured on this New York Correction History Society (NYCHS) web site page. Unless otherwise indicated, NYCHS is the soure of all images on this web page.

Marcus, who had served as Correction's First Deputy Commissioner and then Commissioner under Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia before WWII, later became a U.S. and Israeli military hero.

His remains are the only ones buried in the Academy cemetery belonging to a West Point graduate who died fighting for a foreign country.

Field general of the Israeli forces, he was killed June 11, 1948, an accidental victim of friendly fire.

His grave monument reads: "A soldier for all humanity."

NYCHS was also present at the 33rd annual Colonel Marcus Memorial Service, at the United States Military Academy, held May 2nd, 1999. NYCHS was instrumental in helping arrange DOC's first participation in the annual event. That year it dispatched a detachment (a Captain and five COs) from Correction's Ceremonial Unit and a representative of the Department's Maccabees Society to take part.

During the 2017 Marcus memorial service in the West Point Jewish Chapel, Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Rindenow (father of Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow zíl) explains to DOCers, CO Stephanie Ruimy, Staff Chaplain Justin von Bujdoss, and Investigator Michael Picard, DOC Maccabees president, the significance of the candles on the table in front of them.  
Above image courtesy American Veterans of Israel Legacy Corp.
The following text appeared in the NYCHS' web site page devoted to the 1999 Marcus memorial event:

Marcus has been remembered many ways.

  • His name adorns a playground in Brooklyn,
  • a rest home for Israeli Army personnel in Haifa,
  • a housing development in Tel Aviv called Neve David Marcus,
  • a kibbutz called Mishmar David,
  • a Marcus Memorial Library at the Command School in Israel,
  • a Marcus Lodge of B'nai Brith,
  • a Lodge of the Knights of Pythias,
  • a post of the Jewish War Veterans,
  • a chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, and
  • a chapter of the B'nai Brith Youth Organization.

During the 2017 Marcus memorial service in the West Point Jewish Chapel, NYC DOC Staff Chaplain Justin von Bujdoss addresses the gathering. Appointed in March 2017 to the newly-created chaplaincy post servicing the Department's staff, he is also the first Buddhist to serve as a chaplain at the Department.  
Above image courtesy American Veterans of Israel Legacy Corp.
Between 1947 and 1948 about 3,500 volunteers from outside countries fought alongside Israel's finest.

An estimated 1,000 came from the United States and another 250 from Canada.

Most of the English-speaking volunteers had -- like Marcus -- fought in World War II and wanted to put that combat experience at the service of the emerging Jewish State.

Marcus wrote an Israeli military training manual.

He took the would-be country's tough but loose-knit guerrilla raiders, the Palmach, and instilled in them a sense of discipline and chain of command.

He succeeded in persuading those supplying the military forces that soldiers needed uniforms as well as firepower.

During the 2017 memorial service in the West Point Academy Cemetery, following wreath laying by Garrison Commander Col. Andrew Hanson, NYC DOC Staff Chaplain Justin von Bujdoss (back to camera) escorts a member of the Marcus family to the grave monument for placement on it of a red rose.  
He reorganized the forces into effective, quick-moving units capable of striking first in sustained attacks to harass, confuse and halt the Egyptian tanks' advance in the Negev.

He played a significant role in offensives against Jordanians holding Latrun, a gateway to Jerusalem.

The Israeli regard for this "foreigner" was such that they entrusted to him the supreme command over their entire central Jerusalem-Tel Aviv front, making him in effect a Brig. General.

He is said to have been the first to hold that rank in Israel's modern army [since the KIng David era]. . . .

Following the placement of wreath and roses during the 2017 memorial service in the West Point Academy Cemetery, NYC DOC Staff Chaplain von Bujdoss, left, and Garrison Commander Col. Hanson, foreground, among others, listen as Rabbi Sanford Dresin of the Aleph Institute, a retired Colonel, reads scripture and recites the Kaddish.  
In a letter to [AVI and West Point Academy officials, then] Correction Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik thanked the organization and West Point for responding affirmatively to his suggestion that the Department, which Marcus led as First Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner, have a participating presence in the ceremonies:

"We consider our being granted the opportunity to join with you on this occasion a privilege.

"For it allowed us to signify as an agency how proud we are to have had once leading us this singular person who later led the armed forces of the United States and Israel in separate wars.

"He did so with great distinction and courage."

.... Throughout the [1999] chapel and cemetery ceremonies, the Correction honor detail lent its presence as a group and was joined by C.O. Ernest Brauer, secretary of DOC's Maccabee Society. Coincidentally, Brauer grew up in Marcus' Brooklyn neighborhood and attended the local high school named for the Col./Commissioner.

In addition to the recent 2017 Marcus memorial event and to the one in which DOC first participated (1999), NYCHS has had a presence at the 2006 and 2014 services as well, posting Correct History web site pages featuring their program particulars and photos.

Above: NYC DOC Correction Officer Stephanie Ruimy, left, and a member of the Rockland/Orange Counties District Jewish War Veterans position the flags they bear as they prepare to enter the West Point Academy Cadets Jewish Chapel as part of the 2017 American Veterans of Israel Legacy Corp. memorial service honoring DOC Commissioner David (Mickey) Marcus and other fallen MACHAL veterans.

Below:Flag-bearers, uniformed NYC DOC Correction Officer Stephanie Ruimy and a civilian representative of the Rockland/Orange Counties District Jewish War Veterans, display the flags they hold in the West Point Academy Cadets Jewish Chapel. Other uniformed DOCers, identifiable in the pews, are C.O. Nishaun McCall, left, and Staff Chaplain Justin van Bujdoss, right, back to camera.

Above: far left, American Veterans of Israel Legacy Corp. (AVILC) treasurer Donna Parker, with roses for Marcus family members; third left, Jeffrey A. Margolis, Esq. - AVILC president, consulting his notes and conferring with one of the younger holders of the AVI banner; far right, former AVI president Si Spiegelman, getting set to read in rembrance the names of fallen MACHAL Veterans at the 2017 memorial rites.

Below: After the memorial services concluded, several DOCers, current and former, uniformed and civilian, who participated or attended, gather near a DOC vehicle at a West Point Academy cemetery gate for a group photo. The left-to-right unbracketed IDs as provided by Michael Picard: Mitch Schwadron, Yonah Jungreis, Ronnie Krugman, Hal Scholnick, Michael Picard, Jonathan Picard, [Staff Chaplain] Justin von Bujdoss, Stephanie Ruimy, Richard Sandler, [DOC Press Officer] Jack Ryan & [Historian, ret.] Tom McCarthy.

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Go to 48th West Point Rites Honor Col./Commissioner Marcus

Go to Fading Away Is Not for These Old Soldiers: 40th annual Marcus rites

Go to American Veterans of Israel Honor Colonel/Commissioner Marcus at West Point

Go to Col./ Commissioner Mickey Marcus Playground To Get Facelift

Go to Rededication of the Mickey Marcus Playground in Brooklyn

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