It’s time to honor veterans in the Bronx.
The borough’s Veterans Day Parade is all set to take place on Sunday, November 13. Formation begins at 11 a.m. at Lawton and East Tremont avenues, and marching kicks off at noon. It will culminate at Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park with a cookout and celebration.
As of press time, weather is expected to be sunny and in the high 50s.
“Everything is on track and it’s going be a grand day,” said chief organizer Mike Rahilly.
He has spent the final days before the parade registering any community groups that wish to march.
“Hopefully we get the weather on our side. That will always help. You can add a bunch of people along the parade route just because it’s sunny out.”
This year’s grand marshal is Morris Park World War II veteran Joe Garofalo, who also runs a veterans’ museum at John Dormi & Sons Funeral Home on Morris Park Avenue.
Senator Jeff Klein will host a breakfast at Villa Barone Manor for parade participants.
“The breakfast is great,” Rahilly said. “Senator Klein does a beautiful job with it.”
Fang Wong, national commander of the American Legion, is also expected to march in the parade. Wong, a New Jersey resident, served 25 months in Vietnam and spent 20 years of his life in the Army. The prospect of his presence has borough Legion members excited.
“That’s a big thing for us. He travels all over the world,” said legion member and parade organizer Pat Devine. “I’ve known him for 25 years. He’s a great, great guy.”
The parade was initially held on Grand Concourse in the early part of the 20th century, but was discontinued when interest and attendance waned. It has been in Throggs Neck since 1984 when I group of veterans revived the tradition.
Devine said that he has been worried about attendance in Throggs Neck, and if neighborhood residents don’t turn out to support veterans, it may be lost to another neighborhood, or even go back to Grand Concourse.
“It’s very important that the community comes out and supports the parade,” Devine said. “My concern is that if the community does not come out and support it, the parade will move to another location.”
Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at wweisbrod@
©2011 Community News Group