Despite the likely absence of a 21-gun salute at the memorial service held at the Throggs Neck Veterans Day, parade organizers said the rest of the parade should be a blast.
According to Pat Devine, the commander of the Theodore Korony 253 Post and member of the 24th annual Throggs Neck Veterans Day Parade Committee, when the parade kicks off on Sunday, November 9 at noon, at the corner of Lafayette and E. Tremont avenues, there will be a special fly-over by military aircraft, but no artillery because of a miscommunication about the necessary permits for a 21-gun salute and other ordinance.
“Borough Command said that we can’t do a rifle salute or have artillery in the parade this year because we don’t have the necessary fire permits,” Devine said.
With or without the 21-gun salute, the parade will make its way from the busy E. Tremont Avenue intersection to the very placid Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park, where there will be a special memorial honoring past and present heroes.
“This parade is a great chance to show support of our veterans both overseas and at home,” Devine said. “While we look back and honor all those brave men and women who have served our country in the past, we must also remember that our nation is still in a war on terror.”
Among those participating in the parade are those serving in the Naval Reserve Unit at Fort Schuyler, members of the Army and Marines, SUNY Maritime College cadet regiment, Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts, AMVETS Posts, pipe bands and over a dozen bands form area schools, and all area American Legion posts. New to the parade this year will be the Bronx Veterans Center from Morris Avenue, a satellite of the Veterans Administration, as well as American legion posts from Co-op City and Unionport.
This year’s parade will be preceded by a breakfast for veterans at Villa Barone Manor sponsored by Senator Jeff Klein, which will commence at 9:30 a.m., with the formation for the day’s march happening at 11 a.m.
The parade grand marshal is Ken Champlin, a Throggs Neck veteran who has been involved in the American Legion for almost 30 years.
In 1961 Champlin was put on active duty and served aboard the Aircraft Carrier, USS Lake Champlain, doing anti submarine warfare. He served from 1961-1963, first as flight deck crew, and then moved to primary flight control where he stayed for the remainder of his active duty.
Most of the time was spent locating and identifying Russian submarines and Fishing Trawlers along the east coast and the Caribbean. The ship also took part in the “Cuban Blockade” forcing the Russians to get their nuclear missiles out of Cuba.
In 1982, Champlin joined the Throggs Neck Memorial American Legion post, where he has been active ever since, even serving as post commander from 1988-90.