Veterans Parade will honor fallen veterans

As Veterans Day approaches, the Throggs Neck community honors our late veterans one last time.

Annually, the United Veterans Parade Committee of Greater New York receives submissions from the Bronx community of military veterans who have passed away within the last year.

These submissions are sent by family members, friends, or other members of the community.

These veterans are then recognized posthumously for their service during their annual Bronx Veterans Day Parade and are named honorary grand marshals.

The committee usually selects as many of the submissions as they receive as long as they meet the criteria.

This year the committee will honor posthumously five veterans whom were honorably discharged from the armed forces and were long time members of the Bronx community:

World War II veterans corporal Anthony Mara and private first class Seymour Goodman, who both served in the United States Army, chief petty officer third class Michael Roche and gunners mate third class Robert W. Booth, who both served in the United States Navy, and Vietnam veteran sergeant first class Brendan Devine, who served in the US Army.

“It’s a way that the family can remember their veteran in a special way,” said Judy Lanci, a member of the parade committee and longtime Throggs Neck resident. “It takes the parade to another level when you have sidelines of people cheering.”

While many of this year’s honorary grand marshals were from the Throggs Neck and surrounding areas, the submissions are open to all areas of the Bronx according to Vietnam veteran John Lanci, who is a member of the committee who has also helped select the honorary grand marshals for the last eight years.

From the Purple Heart Corporal Mara received while he was a surgical technician in the Philippines during World War II or the more than 20 years of service Sergeant First Class Devine gave after leaving Vietnam, the legacy these veterans left were notable to the committee and to the community who nominated them.

“We’re proud to have them as honoraries,” Lanci said. “They are our brothers and sisters, not necessarily in combat, but we should be proud to honor them.”

What the committee is most excited about this year is the expected increase in attendance by the younger members of the community, who will also get to take part in recognizing and memorializing these fallen veterans.

“Everyone can honor their service in death and celebrate their life,” Judy Lanci added.

Along with being recognized at the parade, the families and friends will receive an honorary citation on behalf of each veteran.

These citations will be distributed during the Veteran’s Day Breakfast hosted by Senator Jeff Klein at Villa Barone Manor the morning of the parade.

The 33rd annual Bronx Veterans Day Parade will take place Sunday, November 12 at noon from East Tremont Avenue and Lafayette Avenue to Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park.

Reach Reporter Sarah Valenzuela at (718) 260-4584. E-mail her at svalenzuela@cnglocal.com.

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