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Queens Chronicle

Memorial Day Festivities Bring Music And Pomp

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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2007 12:00 am

A bevy of options awaits those wishing to show their patriotic spirit this Memorial Day weekend, when three parades in Central and Mid-Queens will commemorate locals who have served their country in war.

On Sunday, Forest Hills will host one of the borough’s most pomp-filled parades, replete with helicopter flyovers, bagpipe players, Army drum corps and a 25-foot model submarine float. Forest Hills’ Memorial Day Parade kicks off at noon at the American Legion Continental Post 1424, at 107-15 Metropolitan Ave., and ends at Remsen Park on Woodhaven Boulevard.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg will appear alongside Medal of Honor recipient Robert O’Malley, a Woodside native who rescued American infantry squads from an ambush in the Vietnam War. “This parade keeps getting larger and larger every year,” said parade coordinator Louis Neir. “It’s a local tradition for us, but we keep attracting more people from all over.” For more information, call Neir at (718) 835-1587.

Also on Sunday, more than 80 servicemen and servicewomen will gather at Walter Garling Memorial Park, at 72nd Place and Grand Avenue, for Maspeth’s own yearly parade. Participants will meet at 1 p.m., they will be joined by a color guard, 11 bands and dozens of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and ROTC cadets from Francis Lewis High School and Long Island City’s Aviation High School.

Marchers will follow the traditional route, starting down Grand Avenue, then turning right onto 61st Street and continuing to 56th Road and Clinton Avenue before proceeding back up Grand Avenue, said event organizer Marlene Sommella.

Additionally, this year’s festivities include an award ceremony for the winners of a Memorial Day essay contest for middle schoolers, to follow the march. To learn more, call Sommella at (718) 672-8333.

The ceremonies will continue into Monday, when national Veterans Hall of Famer Pat Toro Jr. leads over 75 naval and marine personnel down Myrtle Avenue in Glendale’s 69th Annual Memorial Day parade. Headlining the event will be Forest Hills Councilwoman Melinda Katz, an accomplished vocalist, who will sing “The Star Spangled Banner”. Paraders will meet at 11 a.m. at the corner of Myrtle and Cooper avenues. To learn more, call parade coordinator Julius Landherr at (718) 366-0121.

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