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Your guide to Memorial Day parades and vigils in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The sacrifices of American soldiers will be celebrated across Queens in the days to come at various Memorial Day parades and vigils.

Among the celebrations are the following events, scheduled to take place rain or shine:

Woodhaven
Residents of Woodhaven will hold an early tribute to America’s fallen troops with a ceremony on Thursday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. The vigil, sponsored by the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, will take place at Forest Parkway Plaza, located at the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway.

The program includes patriotic music, a color guard, laying of wreaths and remarks from local elected officials and veterans.

College Point
The College Point Citizens for Memorial Day Inc. will begin their parade on at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, at the intersection of 28th Avenue and College Point Boulevard. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is set to appear along with other local officials, and veteran Louis A. DiAgostino will be honored as the grand marshal.

Marching bands, drill teams and dance groups will all be performing at the event, and military servicemen and women will march in the festivities. The College Point Citizens for Memorial Day are accepting donations to offset parade costs. For more information contact parade chairman Rev. Adam Crabtree at 718-640-8840.

Forest Hills
The Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade hosted by the American Legion and the Forest Hills Kiwanis Club will take place on Sunday at noon. The parade starts from Metropolitan and Ascan avenues and will head westward down Metropolitan Avenue to Trotting Course Lane. From there, the parade will turn right and stop at the landmarked Remsen Cemetery between Trotting Course Lane and Alderton Street.

This year’s grand marshal will be Roland Meier, president of the West Side Tennis Club. Members of ROTC, band, and local civic and children’s organizations such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will march in the parade. Organizers of the parade will hold a ceremony at Remsen Cemetery to honor veterans.

Maspeth
The United Veterans and Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth will honor the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice during their 31st Memorial Day Parade on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Grand marshals James Desio, retired US Army WWII veteran, and William Aronowicz, retired U.S. Marine Corp. WWII veteran, will lead the procession, beginning at Walter A. Garlinge Memorial Park, located at 72nd Street and Grand Avenue. At 2 p.m., there will be a memorial service for the deceased veterans of WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Middle Village
The St. Margaret Catholic War Veterans Post 1172 will honor those who died for the nation on Monday, May 25, with a special Mass at 9:30 a.m. at St. Margaret Church, located at the corner of Juniper Valley Road and 80th Street.

Then, at 11 a.m., post members and residents will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Middle Village Veterans Triangle, located at the corner of Gray and 77th streets near 66th Road. The ceremony will include prayers, a military salute and the playing of taps.

Glendale/Ridgewood
The Allied Veterans Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale, a committee made up of delegates from six veteran organizations, will honor the more than 1.14 million men and women of the U.S. armed forces who died in defense of the country during the 77th Memorial Day parade Monday.

At 11 a.m., the parade will begin at the Glendale War Memorial, located at Myrtle and Cooper Avenues, with a short memorial service to honor the war dead of Glendale. They will then march down Myrtle Avenue westbound to the Ridgewood War Memorial, located at Myrtle and Cypress Avenues, where there will be another short memorial service to honor the war dead of Ridgewood.

Howard Beach
The Howard Beach Memorial Day Parade will honor Vietnam War veterans, including the Howard Beach residents lost at war since the neighborhood’s founding.

There will be a memorial day Mass before the parade at Our Lady of Grace at 101st Street on Monday at 9:30 a.m. At 10:15 a.m., there will be a brief ceremony on top of Hawtree-Ramblersville Bridge and the parade will officially commence at Coleman’s Square at 11 a.m. The parade will stop at the Vietnam War Memorial, located at 99th Street and 157th Avenue and then head to the World War II Memorial at Assembly of God Church at 158-31 99th St. They will then march to St. Barnabas Church at 159-19 58th St. before marching back to Coleman Square.

Laurelton
The Laurelton Lions Club will present the 26th Annual Laurelton Memorial Day Parade, featuring The Queens Area Pathfinders Marching Band and The Black and Gold Marching Elite Band, on Monday starting at 9 a.m. The parade begins at Francis Lewis and Merrick boulevards, and will end at the Veterans Memorial Triangle at 225th Street and North Conduit Avenue.

Sponsors for this year’s parade include the Laurelton Lions Club, American Legion Benjamin Moore Post 1946, Garden Club of Laurelton, Federated Blocks of Laurelton and Concerned Citizens of Laurelton in Conjunction with Col. Edward O. Gourdin VFW POST 5298.

Whitestone
The Whitestone Memorial Day Parade will honor veterans and public servants from the community on Monday, May 25. The event will begin at noon at Whitestone Memorial Park at 149th Street and 15th Drive with a ceremony. Following the ceremony, the parade will commence and follow a rectangular route around the neighborhood back to Whitestone Memorial Park. Jim Dunn, a veteran from The American Legion in Whitestone, will serve as the grand marshal.

The parade will feature classic cars, elected officials, children from local sports leagues, and it will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of Whitestone’s Engine 295/Ladder 144 of the FDNY. For additional, information or to volunteer call Devon O’Connor, parade chairman, at 718-757-8546.

Woodside/Sunnyside
This year the St. Sebastian’s War Veterans will host the Woodside Memorial Day Parade to honor fellow veterans on Monday starting at 11 a.m. Parade participants will get together at the St. Sebastian’s School yard located at the corner of Woodside Avenue and 57th Street.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and John V. Daniels Jr. Post No 2813 in Sunnyside will host a Memorial Day event to honor veterans on Monday at 11 a.m. The event will be held at John Vincent Daniels Square, located on Roosevelt Avenue and 52nd Street. During the ceremony, a wreath will be placed at the flagpole in the middle of the park.

Little Neck/Douglaston
This year’s Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. Monday, pays special tribute to Vietnam War veterans. Dr. Loree Sutton, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, will serve as grand marshal of the march sponsored by the Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Association.

The march begins in Great Neck from the corner of Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard, then proceeds west on the boulevard to the yard of St. Anastasia’s Church, located near Northern Boulevard and 245th Street.

Queens resident among Marines killed in helicopter crash


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps

A Queens resident has been identified as one of seven Marines who were killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash during a training mission in dense fog off the Florida Panhandle.

Staff Sgt. Liam Flynn, 33, was among seven Marines and four Louisiana National Guardsmen who were aboard the helicopter who perished in Tuesday’s accident, military officials said.

Flynn was a U.S. Marine who moved to Queens in 2002, but was from Ireland, according to published reports. He served within U.S. Marine Corps Forces and Special Operational Command as an assistant element member, and had reportedly been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. His personal awards included three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals with Valor, the Bronze Star with Valor and Combat Action Ribbon.

Military officials have released all seven of the names of the Marines who were from the 2nd Special Operations Battalion of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command, reports said. The names of the National Guardsmen have not been released yet.

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Students show soldiers their ‘gratitude’


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Students at a local Bayside elementary school have not forgotten their troops.

Youngsters at P.S. 130 have written more than 250 letters and collected some 180 items, along with 59 pounds of candy, to send to deployed military men and women as part of Operation Gratitude — a nonprofit, volunteer group’s mission to assemble and ship care packages to soldiers serving overseas.

“When you’re on a long deployment and you get some letters and cookies, it means a lot,” said Staff Sergeant Clayton Kramer. “When you’re in a rural part of the world, it’s easy to feel forgotten. When you see a care package show up from a school, it lets you know that what you’re doing means something to people.”

Kramer, a veteran of the United States Air Force and California Air National Guard, paid a visit to the tiny benefactors during a school assembly on November 10 to explain his role in protecting the country. He was joined by retired Marine Sergeant Matthew Engelhardt, who dumped out his rucksack and invited kids to test out the military equipment.

“It’s wonderful to educate the kids and explain to them what we do,” said Engelhardt, who served for eight years. “It’s wonderful to get letters out there, knowing that the kids appreciate what you do.”

This is the school’s second year participating, said Assistant Principal Laurie Careddu. Students in pre-kindergarten through third grade collected toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and candy, wrote letters and decorated banners for the troops.

Kramer served in the Air Force as an aerospace maintenance crew chief and a signals analyst before joining the 129th Rescue Wing. Engelhardt was deployed twice to Iraq and had two tours in Okinawa, Japan.

The pair, who was showered with letters of thanks upon their drop-by, said the gratitude was touching.

“It actually kind of brings a tear to the corner of your eye,” Kramer said.

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup2

Man dies after jumping in front of subway train in Queens

A man died Friday after jumping in front of a Queens subway train, sources said. The victim, who was not immediately identified, leaped onto the tracks as an eastbound No. 7 train barreled into the 52nd St. station at Roosevelt Ave. in Woodside about 1:30 p.m., the sources said. Read more: Daily News

Feds interview Calif. filmmaker linked to anti-Islamic movie

A Southern California filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie inflaming protests across the Middle East was interviewed by federal probation officers at a Los Angeles sheriff’s station but was not arrested or detained, authorities said early Saturday. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was interviewed at the station in his hometown of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Walker said. Read more: NY Post

Two U.S. Marines killed at Afghanistan base where Prince Harry is stationed

Heavily-armed insurgents attacked a British air base in southern Afghanistan Friday, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding several other troops, U.S. officials said. Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, is stationed at the base on a four-month combat tour in Afghanistan. Read more: Daily News

Accused serial arsonist under arrest

A man accused of setting off 13 separate fires in Queens is now under arrest. Thien Dinh, 43, is charged with arson, reckless endangerment and burglary. Fire marshals say he has 45 prior arrests for burglary and property damage. Read more: NY1

Queens 18-year-old files $10 million lawsuit against city, alleging cops botched her restraining order

A Queens woman who was stabbed by her ex-lover is suing the city over claims cops failed to enforce a restraining order. Last June, Daniel Paguay, 21, attacked the 18-year-old in her Corona home, dragging her out of bed to a nearby grocery store, where he used her as a human shield before plunging a 10-inch knife into her back three times, police said. Read more: Daily News

Rescue crews conduct search off Queens for diver

Rescue crews took to the waters off Breezy Point, Queens on Friday night after a diver was reported missing that morning. New York City Police Department boats and personnel from the Fire Department and the Coast Guard scoured the area Friday morning. Read more: NY1 

Local official team up to help during Holiday Toy, Coat and Food Drive


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember James Gennaro

A joint effort across eastern Queens is attempting to provide children and their families with warm bodies, full stomachs and plenty of presents to open on Christmas.

Councilmember James Gennaro united with New York Cares service events manager Joseph Salas, Marine Corps Staff Sergeants Daniel Sweeney and David Bonney of the Sixth Communications Battalion and other community leaders on December 2 to initiate his annual Holiday Toy, Coat and Food Drive.

“It seems like this is the least we can do, particularly when times are very tough,” said Gennaro, whose drive will last through December 16. “We feel the people who give get more out of it than those who receive.”

During the event, the Marines delivered collection boxes for their Toys for Tots program to the councilmember’s office, where coats are also being gathered for donation to New York Cares.

“I’d like to thank the councilmember for his continued support,” said Salas. “We have partnered with the councilmember for quite a few years and to see the continued support is inspiring.”

Food is also being collected at Gennaro’s office, located at 185-10 Union Turnpike in Fresh Meadows, for donation to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Roman Catholic Church in Jamaica and the Samuel Field Y in Little Neck.

“Even in these very difficult and challenging times, it’s very comforting and reassuring to know our community is a responsive, caring community and our elected officials take a role in making sure needs are met,” said Steven Goodman, executive vice president of the Samuel Field Y.

Along with Gennaro’s office, donations can also be made at Senator Toby Ann Stavisky’s office, located 144-36 Willets Point Boulevard in Flushing, Assemblymember Rory Lancman’s office, at 159-16 Union Turnpike in Hillcrest, or the headquarters of Community Board 8, located at 197-15 Hillside Avenue in Hollis.