Nov. Parade Honors The Fallen
The fifth annual Queens Veterans Day Parade will bring the borough together on Sunday Nov. 9, to march through Middle Village in honor of the sacrifices America’s Servicemen and women have made for this country.
This year’s event will honor fallen soldier, Isaac Cortes, cofunder and organizer Sal Candela said. Paul and Russ Feddern, both Vietnam veterans have been named Grand marshals for the parade.
Paul served as a Marine in East Asia from 1966-1967, and Russ did a tour in the Army from 1967-1968, it was noted. All veterans are invited to join them at the march.
“We do it for love of the veterans, Candela said. “The smiles on their faces make it so worthwhile.”
“One of my biggest concerns with the government is that we don’t do enough to honor them,” Candela added.
Though this year marks the sixth year it has been organized, it is only the fifth time the parade will be held because Hurricane Sandy cancelled the event after the storm in the fall of 2012, Candela said.
“We missed one year,” He said. “We tried to get it pushed back one week, but it didn’t happen because of permits.”
This year’s march will feature a presentation of flags; active duty military personnel; the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Blub; Boys and Girl Scout Troops; and the Glendale Sacred Heart Twirlers. Marching as well will be Disabled American Veterans; members of the Sgt. Miller Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Glendale; the Parent Teacher Association from P.S. 153 in Maspeth and the Coastal Patrol Youth Group Band, Candela stated. As always, classic and antique cars from the East Coast Car Association will pace the parade.
“It means the world to me,” Candela said. “They answered the call. Whether you supported a war or not, you have to support them.”
The Queens parade began as an idea to resurrect the Middle Village Memorial Day Parade, but after speaking with veterans and local organizations and “by request of the veterans,” it was made into a Veterans Day Parade, Candela said.
He added that it’s an added bonus to veterans in the borough, as they age and don’t get around as well, to have the event in Queens.
“It’s extremely important to them,” he said. “It’s very special to be honored in Queens where most of them grew up.”
The first Veterans Parade commemorated the World War I armistice, and soldiers returning from Europe after that conflict, according to Veterans Administration. Though fighting ended seven months earlier when the armistice, or temporary stop of hostilities between the Allied forces and Germany went into effect––on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month––Nov. 11 is the date when the ceremonies are held.
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief moment of reflection beginning at 11 a.m., it was noted.
The parade route will begin at 80th Street and march down Metropolitan avenue. It will end with a commemoration ceremony held at Christ The King High School, 68-02 Metropolitan Ave., in Middle Village.
The parade is one of only a few in the city, which it makes it even more special to Candela.
“To the best of our knowledge, we are the only other Veterans Day Parade, other than the one in the city,” Candela said.
“They need our help, the very least we can do is support them,” he said. “So come out and support our veterans, it should be great. It’s always a great parade.”
For more information, call the Queens Veterans Day Parade Committee at 1-718-894-5954.