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The big reasons to come to the Memorial Day Parade
Memorial Day is nearly upon us and small groups all across the Borough are struggling to pull together the myriad details that go into making
these parades a success. For the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day parade, widely acknowledged to be the largest in the nation, the challenges
are also huge.
“A handful of us are coordinating thousands of details and there are people who won’t support us because the parade is too noisy, has too many
cars, or blocks traffic or they don’t like the politicians in the parade or even in the White House" lamented Executive Director Victor Mimoni.
“But in those cars we have some ordinary Americans who put their lives on hold for years, so we could complain, or go shopping or just take it
easy for Memorial Day, and they live with the memory of their friends who didn’t make it,” he added.
Among the World War II survivors riding are a Flying Tiger who borrowed a plane to stay in the fight and crashed behind Japanese lines; a private
who fought in the shadow of Gen. George Patton, a sailor who worked inside of a floating target while the war raged around him, and a Jewish GI
who had to take the dog tags of a dead man to survive a Nazi POW camp.
“We want everyone to come to our parade, but go to any parade you can,” Mimoni said. “Because it’s a sad thing when our ageing veterans are
reduced to honoring themselves.”
This year, the parade is celebrating the 205th Birthday of the Star Spangled Banner, honoring the U.S. Merchant Marine, and observing the 75th
anniversary of D-Day.
(Left to right,) Pilot Thomas L. Thompson, GI Luke Gasparre, Navy Yeoman Arthur Grabiner and POW Bernard Rader will be riding in the Little
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