The 2016 honorees for the parade include Gold Star Mother Yolanda David, fallen Marine Corporal Julian Ramon, and World War II veterans Gary “Casper” Inzerillo from Howard Beach and Luke Gasparre from Astoria — both of whom will serve as grand marshals — and several other individuals who have served the country in different branches of the military.
Ramon, 22, of Flushing, died on July 20, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
The parade is scheduled to kick off at noon at 80th Street and Metropolitan Avenue, and will conclude with a special ceremony followed by refreshments at Christ the King Reginal High School, located at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave.
As always, the marching members of the military will be joined on the parade route by civic groups and organizations, Boy and Girl Scout troops, local marching bands and baton twirlers, local civic leaders, authentic military vehicles, along with classic cars from the East Coast Car Association.
The committee is hoping this year’s parade will be the largest in Queens in over a decade.
Residents from all across Queens are invited to attend the parade, and are asked to bring their flags and thank-you signs for a touching tribute to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much — some making the ultimate sacrifice — to protect the USA and our way of life at home and overseas.
Any groups or organizations that would like to participate in this year’s parade can send an e-mail to email@example.com or call NY Guardsman Michael Bilski at 917-607-3961.
The Queens Veterans Day Parade Committee is also looking for donations of any amount, which can be mailed or brought to Middle Village Veterans Day Parade Committee, C/O Salvatore Candela, 75-16 Metropolitan Ave., Middle Village, NY 11379.
The nation observes Veterans Day on Nov. 11 each year to honor all those who served in defense of the country.