Ridgewood and Glendale commemorate Memorial Day with time-honored parade

memorial day
Father Dariusz Blicharz of St. Matthias RC Church gives the invocation at the Ridgewood and Glendale Memorial Day Parade opening ceremony.
Photo by Anthony Medina

A tradition that has stood the test of time in Ridgewood and Glendale once again brought thousands of patriots to Myrtle Avenue on Monday, May 27, to celebrate and commemorate the lives of U.S. military service members on Memorial Day.

This year marks the 86th anniversary of the Myrtle Avenue Memorial Day Parade. The Allied Veterans’ Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale proudly hosts the parade, inviting the community to join in this cherished annual day of remembrance and service.

Gathering at the Ridgewood War Memorial’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which bears the names of over 100 residents lost in World War I, Allied Veterans Chairman Russel Goeller honored Vietnam War Veteran James “Jimmy” Dwyer as this year’s Grand Marshall.

Grand Marshall James (Jimmy) Dwyer shared a few words with the crowd, thanking them for the honorary title. Photo by Anthony Medina
Allied Veterans prepare to give the military a three-rifle volley. Photo by Anthony Medina

Dwyer signed up to join the Navy at only 16 years old, in 1963, right before his 17th birthday, Goeller shared. His dedication to military service and return to the neighborhood with the Brewery Keenan Heisser Post 1815 American Legion made Dwyer the ideal honoree.

Overall, the importance of Memorial Day remained at the forefront of the afternoon festivities. In only a few words, Goller asked eventgoers to remember that “all gave some; some gave all.”

In addition to the event, honorees and special guests were U.S. Marines and Sailors from the USS Bataan (LHD-5) from Norfolk, Virginia, in their finest dress blues and whites. They, too, listened to the remarks from elected officials joining the parade.

U.S. Marines and Sailors from the USS Bataan (LHD-5) from Norfolk, Virginia, march down Myrtle Avenue.

Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar, Council Member Robert Holden and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards emphasized the importance of giving past and present service members the recognition they deserve.

As special guests, elected officials and civic leaders rode on the Vincent Arcuri Jr. float, named after the longtime Community Board 5 Chair, one stand-out addition to the parade provided excellent beats for all to enjoy.

Council Member Robert Holden joins the Myrtle Avenue Memorial Day Parade.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards joins the Myrtle Avenue Memorial Day Parade. Photo by Anthony Medina

The Hawtree Creek Middle School drumline, hailing from South Ozone Park, kept spirits high as the only musicians playing live music for marchers and onlookers to hear.

The middle schoolers also led the charge for additional neighborhood Veterans posts, such as the Joseph B. Garity Post 562, Ridgewood Post 123, Lt. Alfred Lucia Chapter 118, Glendale Post 104 and Sgt. Edward Miller Post 7336, to name a few.

The Hawtree Creek Middle School drumline keeps spirits high at the Myrtle Avenue Memorial Day Parade. Photo by Anthony Medina
The Ridgewood Property Owners Association shows their full patriotism at the Myrtle Avenue Memorial Day Parade.
Sacred Heart Catholic Academy in Glendale joins the Memorial Day Parade on Myrtle Avenue. Photo by Anthony Medina

Lastly, the parade ended at the Glendale Veterans Triangle, at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Cooper Avenue, with one last memorial ceremony. A three-volley salute by veteran riflemen brought the ceremony to a close, ending right in time before anticipated rainfall.

Marissa Corston sings God Bless America at the Glendale Veterans Triangle. Photo by Anthony Medina
Council Member Robert Holden, stands beside Council Member Joann Ariola at the Glendale Veterans Triangle.Photo by Anthony Medina
As the parade comes to a close, onlookers take one final part in the Myrtle Avenue Memorial Day parade with an end ceremony in Glendale. Photo by Anthony Medina