Memorial Day may be considered as the “unofficial start of summer,” but across Queens, it’s an opportunity for local residents to pay tribute to all those who served in the Armed Forces and gave their lives in defense of the country.
This weekend will feature an array of parades and memorial ceremonies around the “World’s Borough” featuring tributes from local and community groups, elected officials, marching bands, troops and veterans organizations.
Here are details of just a few Queens Memorial Day marches and ceremonies, in chronological order (all of which are scheduled to take place rain or shine):
Residents of Bayside will honor the sacrifices made by generation of soldiers during the Bayside Hills Civic Association Memorial Day ceremony this Saturday morning, May 25, at 9:30 a.m.
Participants will gather at the corner of Bell Boulevard and 53rd Avenue for the vigil, which will include local elected officials, prayers, local Boy Scout troops, officers from the 111th Precinct, the Board 11 Community Emergency Response Team and local theater star Rhea Arkin.
The Memorial Day Parade in Forest Hills will be held on Sunday, May 26, beginning at noon and is hosted by the American Legion Continental Post 1424. Also marching are veterans and active enlisted as well as officers of the United States Armed Forces.
Attendees are asked to gather at 11 a.m. to march on Metropolitan Avenue between Ascan Avenue and Remsen Cemetery, corner of Metropolitan Avenue and Trotting Course Lane.
The 34th annual Maspeth Memorial Day Parade will begin on Sunday at 1 p.m. at 72nd Street and Grand Avenue, with memorial services taking place at 2 p.m. at Maspeth Memorial Park at 69th Street and Grand Avenue.
This year’s march pays special tribute to the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied Invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe which occurred on June 6, 1944. The United Veterans and Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth and the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce sponsor the parade.
The red, white and blue will fly proudly at the College Point Memorial Day Parade this Sunday. The event begins at 2 p.m. on 26th Avenue and proceeds north along College Point Boulevard to MacNeil Park. The participants include eight marching bands, local elected officials and members of the Armed Forces. The parade is presented by the College Point Citizens for Memorial Day.
Hundreds of people will take part in the Rosedale Memorial Day Parade this Monday morning, May 27. The march kicks off at 11:15 a.m. at the corner of 243rd Street and Mayda Road, with participants heading to the Veterans & Vietnam Memorial Squares at the corner of Sunrise Highway and Francis Lewis Boulevard, where a memorial service will be held.
Serving as grand marshals for this year’s march are Derrick DeFlorimonte, a combat medic with the U.S. Army, and Joyce Lawrence, president of the 149th Avenue Block Association.
The parade is sponsored by the Rosedale Civic Association, the American Legion Post 483 and the Rosedale/Laurelton/Ladies Auxiliary.
The annual Whitestone Veterans Memorial Association’s Memorial Day Parade will commence at 149th Street and 15th Drive at noon on Monday. The Jewish War Veterans Post 415, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4787, American Legion Post 131 and community groups in the neighborhood are set to participate. Serving as grand marshal of this year’s march is John McHugh Sr., a U.S. Army veteran who participated in the D-Day invasion during World War II.
The 81st Ridgewood-Glendale Memorial Day Parade will get underway at 11 a.m. on Monday morning. As tradition goes in odd-numbered years, the march will step off from the Glendale Memorial Triangle at the corner of Myrtle and Cooper Avenues, then head west along Myrtle Avenue to Ridgewood.
Hundreds of flag-waving participants are expected to line and walk the 1 1/4-mile long parade route to the Ridgewood Memorial Triangle, at the corner of Myrtle and Cypress avenues. The parade will conclude there with a ceremony. The Allied Veterans Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale sponsors the annual parade.
Howard Beach residents will again pay tribute to all who served and died in defense of our country with its annual parade on Monday morning. The march steps off at 11 a.m. from Coleman Square, located at the corner of 159th Avenue and 103rd Street, and will wind its way through local streets before returning to the square for a memorial ceremony.
The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, which is widely regarded as the largest parade of its kind in the nation, will begin at 2 p.m. on Monday and run along Northern Boulevard from Jayson Avenue to 245th Street.
This year’s theme, “What so proudly we hail,” honors the 205th anniversary of The Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem. The parade will also honor the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War escalation in 1969 and the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Rear Admiral Jack Buono, U.S. Merchant Marine Superintendent, serves as the parade’s grand marshal. Parade organizers will also honor American Legion Post 103 Commander Sebastian D’Agostino as Man of the Year and Little Neck resident and parade stalwart Mary (Marie) Stock as Woman of the Year.
The Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Committee has also appointed four others to serve as parade marshals: U.S. Navy Lieutenant Father Mark C. Bristol, American Legion Post 103 Vice Commander and Vietnam War U.S. Army veteran Tom Dinegar, retired U.S. Marine Stu Jensen and U.S. Army veteran Jeff Vonseidman, an escapee from Soviet aggression.
For more information about the parade, visit lndmemorialday.org.
If you know of any other Memorial Day parades happening in Queens this weekend that we may have missed, please email rpozarycki[@]qns.com as soon as possible.