Bronx Veterans Parade, veterans events in the borough

On the dais at the Bronx County American Legion Military Ball are: (l-r) William Clancy, detachment commander; Jacqemae Perrota, Korean Conflict veteran; Gabe Mui, district commander; John Sampson, state commander; Frank Gee, master of ceremonies; Colleen Quagliano, district president; Deborah Kryczkowski, Legion Auxiliary president; J. Bruce Ruthven, detachment leader of the state’s Sons of the American Legion.
Photo by Laura Stone

The borough’s tens of thousands of veterans will be honored both on Veterans Day itself and just after.

The 32nd Annual Bronx Veterans Day Parade in Throggs Neck is set to step off at noon on Sunday, November 13 at Lafayette and East Tremont avenues.

The parade route follows East Tremont Avenue before turning left on Randall Avenue and making another turn towards Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park.

The parade’s grand marshal is retired U.S. Marine Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Waston, who urged all people to pay tribute to the great Americans, both past and present, who served the country with honor, courage and commitment.

“I encourage all Bronxites to show your patriotism, line the parade route, wave the flag and salute all who served,” said Watson. “There is no greater honor than to serve our country…there is no greater joy than to recognize those that do.”

Watson had deployments during Desert Storm and at North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Belgium.

He is also active in his Throggs Neck community as president of the Manhem Club and had a distinguished career in the private sector with Lockheed Martin.

The parade organizers will salute a 99-year-old U.S. Army veteran who served in World War II, Nicholas Calabrese. It will present the former sergeant with a lifetime achievement award.

The 32nd annual celebration of veteran’s service and sacrifice will also posthumously honor several grand marshals: Marshall Siciliano, U.S. Army; William Hyland, U.S. Army; Frank Morales, U.S. Army; Irma Gallagher, U.S. Army; Joe Lemm, U.S. Air Force and Joseph Byrne, U.S. Marine Corps.

On Veterans Day itself there will be several events that should prove significant.

Once again this year on Friday, November 11 at 11 a.m., there will be a remembrance at Rudy Macina Peace Memorial Plaza on Pelham Parkway, said event coordinator Silvio Mazzella.

The Morris Park Community Association, the Mary Queen of Peace Council of the Knights of Columbus, the Morris Park Kiwanis and the American Legion, sponsors the event.

At Van Nest Park on White Plains Road another memorial is being planned on Friday, November 11 at noon, said that event’s coordinator Richard Vitacco.

The Van Nest event will include a wreath laying and will honor the former commanding officer of the NYPD’s Transit District 12 at East 180th Street and current 42nd Precinct commanding officer Deputy Inspector Ernest Morales, said Vitacco.

Vitacco said that the inspector has attained the rank of a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve and once served as liaison between the United States and Mexican navys for six month is Mexico City.

The inspector’s paramilitary training in the police department was also recognized when he entered the service, said Vitacco

The Bronx Chamber of Commerce will hold its own salute to veteran heroes at its Veteran’s Luncheon and Job and Resource Fair at Maestro’s on Wednesday, November 16.

Admission is free for veterans and active military with proof of service, but you must RSVP at (718) 828-3900 or events@bronxchamber.org.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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