About 100 people marched in Rosedale on Monday in memoriam of veterans living and deceased. The parade began at the Capital One bank at 243rd Street and Mayda Road and continued to Francis Lewis Boulevard and Sunrise Highway, ending at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Children, babies, parents, students, teachers, decorated veterans and community leaders came out to support those who fought to ensure that we have freedoms and liberties today.
“Veterans gave their all … they gave everything they had on some lonely island, on some mountain, in some city somewhere so we can enjoy this day,” said Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton), himself a Marine Corps veteran. “As we enjoy today, we remember sacrifices past, sacrifices present and sacrifices that will be.”
It was a hot day for a parade, but that didn ‘t stop many organizations in the community from waving their flags and showing their support. Groups that attended included the Rosedale/Laurelton American Legion Post #483, The Ladies’ Auxiliary of Post #483, The Jewish War Veterans Smith-Lubin Post #116, The Rosedale Civilian Observation Patrol, The 149th Ave Block Association, The Cornucopia Society Volunteers, The Legends SUV Club, the 105th Precinct of the NYPD and the Brookville Park Tennis Club.
“It ‘s hot but not oppressive,” Tawny Millard, membership coordinator of the tennis club, said. “We ‘re excited to be invited and increase visibility in community.” Tawny was with her mother, who was dressed in full Army gear, in spite of the heat. Her mother, Glennie Millard, is a veteran of the Army Nurse Corps.
“I feel good to be here. I ‘m alive. We come from a military family. I have daughter in the service, that I wish the best on Memorial Day. Together with my husband, sister, son, and daughter, we ‘ve got over 100 years of combined service,” Glennie Millard said.
The parade and memorial service went smoothly, thanks to months of planning. Marcia O’Brien, President of the 148th Drive and Community Board Association, and a member of Community Board 13 and the Rosedale Civic Association, helped to organize the event. “It ‘s very exciting to see it all come together, we put in a lot of work into showing the veterans that we care. It ‘s our way of giving back and saying thank you,” she said.
Usually they rely on pre-recorded music on CDs or an iPod, but last year her son played “Taps” live with his trumpet, and was invited to do so again this year. “We have to get the children motivated, so they understand that those who served are the reason that we are here and they can stand proud,” O’Brien said.
All age groups were in attendance. Girl Scout and Brownie troops, the Rosedale Little League, and the Rosedale Jets Football Association were present. Jacques Leandre, president of the Rosedale Jets Association, was happy to have his team participate in this civic education lesson.
“When you plant a seed, it doesn ‘t always grow right away, but we want the children to know that the streets they walk on, people paid the price for this,” Leandre said.
At the ceremonies, Democratic District Leader Elmer Blackburne was the grand marshal and accepted this honor gratefully. “This is a very important day, this day is carved in the memory of this country, and it ‘s important to tell these stories to our young people,” he said.
The event was a success, according to Bill Perkins, president of the Rosedale Civic Association. “It was a glorious parade, and a perfect kickoff for the summer,” he said, adding that although he never had to fight in a war, “I know the importance of the holiday and acknowledging those who are gone and those who are serving.”