This year’s Throggs Neck Veterans Day Parade marches onward into history.
Sunday, November 9 commemorated 30 years for the highly successful annual neighborhood celebration that honors the service, bravery, and sacrifices made by all veterans for our country .
This year’s parade saw many community members lending their full support to honor our former service men and women. The annual event commenced with Senator Jeff Klein’s Veterans Day Breakfast at the Villa Barone Manor, which saw over 300 people in attendance. The event was hosted by Councilman James Vacca in Klein’s absence as he was out of town at the time.
“Once again, this year’s Veterans Day Parade Breakfast at Villa Barone was a tremendous success. It is always my great privilege to host and honor veterans and their families. This year was especially poignant as we recognized the valor and dedication of so many of our local vets who have passed on, but whose sacrifice will never be forgotten. I want to thank all those who came out for this special event and celebration and most importantly the veterans and veterans’ families of the 34th Senate District who have given so much to preserve our freedom,” said Senator Klein.
The annual parade featured a myriad of groups marching in support of our nation’s veterans.
This year’s edition included local veteran, Captain Frank Parisi, USMC, as grand marshal who was joined by 12 honorary grand marshals represented by their family members who held banners honoring each as they marched. The 50/50 raffle was successful in raising $3,800 and the proceeds went toward offsetting the parade’s expenses.
“This year’s parade was excellent,” said Patrick Devine, co-founder and co-chairman of the United Veterans Parade Committee of Greater New York. “The bands were perfect, the participants were great, and we had more people then usual this year; it was great to see them supporting our veterans.”
“It was fantastic and I believe every year is special,” expressed the Councilman Vacca. “Everyone at the breakfast was there to pay tribute and it was a great group of people. The parade seems to get larger every year and I feel it sends an important message throughout that we have a neighborhood which hasn’t forgotten our veterans and the sacrifices they have made. It gives you a sense of community.”
Following the parade, a ceremony was held in Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park that honored Captain Parisi and the 12 honorary grand marshals.
This year’s honorary grand marshals included Kenny Aitken, Navy; Gino Alfarano, Navy; Wesley Banks, Army; Russell Breer, Air Force; John Callari, Army; Angelo Cafaro, Army; Fred Freder, Navy; Joseph M. Hendon, Marine Corps; Albert Morris, Army; Vincent C. Parlo, Jr., Navy; and Francis McLaughlin, Navy.
Represented by family members, received framed proclamations drafted by Senator Klein and presented by Vaccc.
“I met with Captain Parisi and I was overwhelmed by all he has done,” explained the councilman. “Many of the honorary grand marshals’ families were overwhelmed by their recognition and it was understandable. It sends a special message that we haven’t forgotten and we honor them for their service. We understand our freedoms and liberties don’t come easy and many of what our veterans have done for our country have long lasting effects.”
Michael Morris, Albert Morris’ son, attended Sunday’s ceremony along with his mother, his sister and her family, his wife, and their child. They also participated in the march.
“My father proudly served his country and was an active member of the Throggs Neck Memorial Post 1456 for many years, having been a member of the color guard,” explained Morris. “It was a wonderful, yet bittersweet event, but I know he would have loved to have been there.”
Devine and the UVPCGNY are extremely thankful for everyone for the support and hard work in making this year’s celebration a success. They wish to extend a special thanks to Senator Klein; Councilman Vacca; the Villa Barone Manor’s staff; Post 19; Ed, the chairman of the Hotdog Committee; Bronxonia Yacht Club; the Sam Young American Legion Post Boosters; the Parade Committee; chairman Mike Rahilly for serving as emcee for the reviewing ceremonies; the Throggs Neck community; and everyone who participated and supported this yearly event.