The Glen Cove Harbor Patrol welcomed its newest boat during a christening ceremony on June 26. The Middleton, named for James Middleton, who died in 2017, is the third boat to enter into the Harbor Patrol’s ranks.
A World War II veteran and resident of Glen Cove for decades, Middleton helped found the Glen Cove American Legion Young-Simmons Post 1765 in the 1950s. At the time, it was one of the only Nassau County chapters that welcomed African-American members.
After graduating from Glen Cove High School in 1944, Middleton entered the military where he served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps. until his honorable discharge in 1946.
Middleton made great strides in the veteran community and held a number of hats among different veteran groups. He was the commander of the Nassau County American Legion, the City of Glen Cove’s first veteran’s coordinator, and he held multiple positions in the Young-Simmons post including first vice chair, historian, membership officer and publicity officer.
He was also a member of the First Baptist Church of Glen Cove where he served in the finance department, a committee member for the Glen Cove Memorial Day Parade, and an avid golf enthusiast who took an annual trip to Augusta for the Masters.
Tony Jimenez, Glen Cove’s director of veterans’ affairs, opened up the ceremony to say a few words about the impact Middleton had on the veterans in Glen Cove. Following a prayer led by Rev. Roger Williams of the First Baptist Church of Glen Cove, speeches were made by Mayor Tim Tenke, Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, a Democrat from Glen Cove, and Harbormaster John Testa. They all acknowledged the vital role that Middleton played in Glen Cove during his lifetime, and all agreed that he was a perfect person to whom the city should dedicate a boat.
As the speeches concluded, leaves and branches were laid upon the deck of the ship. Middleton’s sister, Eleanor, was joined by Testa in smashing a champagne bottle against the ship’s bow, before the boat was lowered into the water.
Danielle Agoglia contributed to this story.