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Queens Chronicle

Parade celebrates 75 years of history

Glendale-Ridgewood Memorial Day event will feature photographic display

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Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:41 am, Thu May 30, 2013.

The Glendale-Ridgewood Memorial Day Parade will be taking a walk down memory lane this year.

In addition to the march, the Allied Veterans Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale is partnering up with the Glendale Historical Society to put together a small display celebrating the parade’s 75th anniversary.

“They’ve been trying to get some old pictures of the parade,” Paul Schottenhamel, who works on the committee, said. “Unfortunately we don’t have a ton of pictures but we did want to do something special since it’s the 75th annual parade, so we figured it would be nice to share the history of the parade and allow people to see what the parade looked like years ago compared to now.”

Schottenhamel said the display will be set up at the Glendale Memorial Triangle at the corner of Myrtle and Cooper avenues, where the parade starts. As participants march down Myrtle, the display will be moved to the Ridgewood Memorial Triangle at the corner of Myrtle and Cypress avenues, where the parade ends.

“We alternate the direction each year,” Schottenhamel said. “Last year we marched from Ridgewood to Glendale so this year we will march from Glendale to Ridgewood. We thought it’d be a good idea to display it in both locations so more people will have the opportunity to see it.”

Richard Asbell, the curator for the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society at Onderdonk House, said the idea to create a display came about last year.

“We got together after the last parade and thought it’d be nice to march or maybe have a float with the veterans and the volunteers but it was hard to get a group together,” he said. “So instead, we decided we’d do a presentation, describing the memorials and the historicness of the parade.”

Asbell said the display will be on a three-panel screen and will be shown in the Onderdonk House, at 18-20 Flushing Ave. in Ridgewood, after the parade for visitors to see.

While there is much to celebrate this year, Schottenhamel said the six posts which comprise the Allied Veterans organization — Joseph Garity American Legion Post 562, Sgt. Edward R. Miller Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 7336, Lt. Alfred Lucia Disabled American Legion Post 104, Ridgewood VFW Post 123 and Brewery Keenan Heisser American Legion Post 1815 — hit a few bumps in the road.

“Normally we have some troops come to march with us but because Fleet Week was canceled, we’ve had to reach out to other local groups,” he said. “I’d say there’s a 90 percent chance that the local National Guard will send some troops.”

Regardless, the parade will proceed as planned with Mervin Paugh, a Korean War-era veteran, leading the way as grand marshal.

“We’re smaller, with more emphasis on local groups participating rather than opening it up to outside larger groups,” Schottenhamel said. “I like to think of it as more of a small-town parade as opposed to some of the larger parades. They’re all great though; they are celebrating a very important day.”

Schottenhamel added that the City commissioner of Veterans Affairs might be making an appearance at the beginning of the parade.

“It’s not set in stone and I know he’s a busy man but it’d be nice if he could come, even for a little while,” he said.

The Allied Veterans organization received grants from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) as well as donations from the community.

Schottenhamel said that in previous years, the committee often had to scramble for funds but is assured that this year it is “pretty much on the money.”

The Glendale-Ridgewood Memorial Day Parade will commence at 11 a.m. at Glendale Memorial Triangle with a short service for the Glendale residents who have died defending their country. A similar service for Ridgewood veterans will be held at the Ridgewood Memorial Triangle.

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