Did you thank a veteran this weekend?
BY DIANA BIERMAN
On the sunny, cloudless morning of May 28, Rockland County residents and others lined Main Street in New City waving flags and cheering various groups, organizations, and veterans who marched in the annual Memorial Day parade in support of our troops.
The 63rd annual parade, believed to be the largest in the county, kicked off at North Main Street and Calvary Drive and concluded at the Rockland County Court House with a ceremony amid speeches by county representatives and veterans commemorating the bittersweet holiday.
“When we’re out later, spending time with our families and loved ones at a barbecue, let’s remember, reflect, and say a prayer for those families that are having family gatherings that are a little less crowded, because they gave up a son, a daughter, a brother, or a sister,” said guest speaker, state senator, David Carlucci. “Remember our veterans and fallen soldiers.”
Other speeches reiterated the importance of thanking those who protected and defended our country, past or present, and showing gratitude for the battles they overcame.
“Thank the people who gave their lives for security, who gave their lives for rights, who gave their lives for freedom. In other words, they gave their lives for us,” said Mike Sullivan, Clarkstown Chief of Police. “Through their sacrifice, hope is renewed in our world.”
Following the ceremony were prayers and an observance ceremony to honor the fallen heroes.
Korean War veteran Bob Terry, of New City, was one of many veterans who participated in the parade and ceremony. Along with him was his wife, Marge; daughter, Tammy Muska; friend, Dolores Maloney; and grandchildren, Arya and Greydon Muska.
And what did the three-generation family have planned to celebrate Memorial Day? “We’re going to go eat hot dogs at Town Hall!” Terry said.
But before throwing that hot dog or burger on the grill and getting caught up in the festivities lost in the meaning of Memorial Day, it’s important to take time to pause and reflect upon about what the holiday is really all about—to remember, honor, and acknowledge the heroes who risked their lives in order to serve our country.
“One thing that never changes is the courage and valiance of the American veteran,” Sullivan said in his speech.