Memorial Day was marked all around Queens County with parades and commemorations honoring the nation’s fallen soldiers.
The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade held its 87th annual march on Monday, May 26. The event was marked with more than 2,000 marchers and spectators converging on Northern Boulevard, according to the parade’s sponsor, the American Legion Post #103.
Maria Giuffre sat on the curb with her dog, Rosie, and her kids as the parade started.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio attended the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade. (Photo by Dominick Totino Photography)
“We came early to get good seats because we’re very lucky to have this parade,” she said. “I like to watch all of the bands and get a taste of the local flavor of this area.”
Giuffre’s son, Michael, held an American flag in his hand and tried to stay cool by hiding in the shade under a tree.
“I like all the old cars,” he said. “They’re really cool and different.”
Among the local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Charles Schumer and Mayor Bill de Blasio also joined the ranks to celebrate Memorial Day.
Maspeth Memorial Day Parade
Parades were also held in Maspeth, College Point and Whitestone throughout the weekend and Monday. In College Point, Vietnam veteran Tom Lee recalled people he’d lost over the years during the parade on Sunday.
“Memorial Day has always been meaningful because you always think about all the guys who didn’t come home,” said Lee, who was a private first class during the war. “When you think about Vietnam, there were 58,000 who didn’t come home. I came home so it’s very meaningful.”
College Point Memorial Day Parade
Photo courtesy of Borough President Melinda Katz’s office
Lee watched as surviving veterans like himself made their way down College Point Boulevard. It was his favorite part of the parade.
“We’re lucky we’re still here not only for surviving the war but being survivors in life,” Lee said.
In Maspeth, the Frank Kowalinski Polish Legion Post #4 sponsored a parade that ran along Grand Avenue. Mike Falco, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Maspeth, handed out American flags to people watching the parade. The club is made up of volunteers and every year a group of 10 or 12 members are amidst the throngs, passing out American flags.
Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade (Photo by Dominick Totino Photography)
During the 82nd Whitestone parade, Joseph Pantano thought about his fellow soldiers with whom he fought during the Korean War and WWII.
“They’re all gone now,” Pantano said. “The last reunion I went to there were only six of us left that I know of from the original battalion.”
Whitestone Memorial Day Parade
Additional reporting by Paulina Tam
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