WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES MAY 27, 2021 27
OUR NEIGHBORHOOD: THE WAY IT WAS
Photos via Ridgewood Times archives
A tradition of pride in Ridgewood & Glendale
BY THE OLD TIMER
They call it the “unoffi cial start of summer,” but
to anyone who has ever served in the Armed
Forces or knows someone who has, Memorial
Day means much more than just barbecues and fun
in the sun.
Traditionally, communities across Queens and
America mark Memorial Day with parades around
town and solemn ceremonies and public memorials
honoring those who, as President Abraham Lincoln
said in his Gettysburg Address, “gave their last full
measure of devotion” in defense of our freedom.
Memorial Day is a particularly special time for the
neighborhoods of Ridgewood and Glendale. Every
year, for more than 80 years, the two neighborhoods
come together as one to commemorate Memorial Day
with a parade hosted by the Allied Veterans Committee
of Ridgewood and Glendale.
The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted that tradition
last year, and unfortunately, the march is again impacted
this year even with virus cases waning. Here’s
hoping that the 2022 version of the Ridgewood-Glendale
Memorial Day Parade goes on bigger and better
than ever, with a deadly virus behind us all.
For now, we present some of the parade’s wonderful
history as then-Ridgewood Times reporter Robert
Pozarycki documented it in the May 16, 2013 issue of
In the aftermath of the First World War, the
Ridgewood and Glendale memorials — located at the
respective corners of Myrtle and Cypress avenues and
Myrtle and Cooper avenues — were erected to honor
residents in both communities who served and died
in “the war to end all wars.”
According to local historian Maryellen Borello,
the Glendale monument was funded by the citizens
of the community, while the Ridgewood memorial was
paid for through fundraising eff orts by the Gold Star
Mothers, the organization of mothers who lost sons
In the years that followed up until 1938, each community
held separate Memorial Day commemorations,
including parades and placing fl ags on the gravestones
of soldiers at local burial grounds such as Cypress
Hills National Cemetery, Borello stated.
The reasons for why veterans in Ridgewood and
Glendale decided to join together for a Memorial Day
parade were not made immediately clear. However,
from the fi rst joint march in 1938 through the 1980s,
the Ridgewood-Glendale parade was a lengthy aff air
that included stops at many tributes to fallen soldiers
in both communities.
Borello noted the parade generally started at the former
home of the Garity Post at the corner of Fairview
Avenue and Woodbine Street in Ridgewood, then
proceed eastward to Prokop Square, located at the
corner of Fresh Pond Road and Cypress Hills Street.
The march then continued into Glendale, heading
down Cypress Hills Street, Central Avenue and 71st
Street to the Glendale Memorial Triangle.
Aft er a brief ceremony at the Glendale Triangle, the
march then moved west along Myrtle Avenue to the
Ridgewood Memorial Triangle.
During the 1980s, Borello stated, the parade was shortened
to its present route on Myrtle Avenue between
Cypress and Cooper avenues. The starting point of the
parade alternates each year: Glendale in odd-numbered
years, Ridgewood in even-numbered years.
* * *
If you have any remembrances or old photographs of
“Our Neighborhood: The Way It Was” that you would like
to share with our readers, please write to the Old Timer,
c/o Ridgewood Times, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361,
or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any
print photographs mailed to us will be carefully returned
to you upon request.
The P.S. 68 contingent at the 2011 Memorial Day Parade.