The biggest Memorial Day parade in the country is back for its 92nd year and will commemorate several significant anniversaries in American history.
On Monday, May 27, event organizers invite the community to the 2019 Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade. This year’s theme is “What so proudly we hail” in recognition of the 205th birthday of the “Star Spangled Banner” poem that became our national anthem.
The volunteer-led parade will also observe the 75th anniversaries of D-Day in Europe and Saipan, which was the first Japanese island invaded in the Pacific.
This year’s grand marshall is U. S. Merchant Marine Academy Superintendent Rear Admiral Jack Buono. Prior to his appointment as superintendent, Buono was president and CEO of SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., a Texas-based, ExxonMobil marine subsidiary. He also chaired the Board of International Marine Transportation Limited in Great Britain and the ExxonMobil Global Marine Center.
American Legion Post # 103 Commander Sebastian D’Agostino is the 2019 man of the year. The Bayside Hills resident is the director of the parade association and has been a member of the American Legion since 2000. During his military career, he served as as a Private First Class in First Army Quartermaster Corps, earned a black belt in Judo and ran a weapons room as Company Armorer.
The woman of the year is Mary “Marie” Stock, a Little Neck resident and parade stalwart. Stock first became involved in the parade back in the mid-1970’s when her husband Joe was asked to help reinvigorate the parade for the 1976 American Bicentennial. The Stocks’ work for the parade, along with other dedicated volunteers, helped to provide a strong foundation and reputation for the yearly event.
The Rotary Club of Flushing will receive the Community Service award. Members of the club, which include local business people, secured a new transportation van for Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, so that families of patients living at the organization’s facilities have the means to visit their loved ones.
Rotarians will officially present the van’s keys at the reviewing stand following the van’s appearance in the parade.
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Father Mark C. Bristol, Army Vietnam Veteran and Post 103 Vice-Commander Tom Dinegar, former U.S. Marine Stu Jensen and Army veteran and Soviet escapee Jeff Vonseidman will serve as parade marshalls.
The parade begins at 2 p.m. on Monday and runs along Northern Boulevard from Jayson Avenue to 245th Street. For more information, visit lndmemorialday.org.