Hundreds in East Meadow honored servicemen and women during the community’s annual Memorial Day parade, led by Grand Marshal Bernard Hein of the Jewish War Veterans Post 709. Residents waved, clapped and cheered as the parade, which also featured the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2736, the American Legion Post 1082, the East Meadow Fire Department, students from the East Meadow and W.T. Clarke High School bands and local Boy and Girl Scout troops marched toward Veterans Memorial Park.
The parade began at East Meadow High School on Carman Avenue, marched east on Hempstead Turnpike, turned right on Prospect Avenue and concluded at the intersection of East Meadow Avenue.
After the march, a commemorative ceremony began with the advancement of the colors, while attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the national anthem. Flags waved as Deacon Angelo D’Aversa from St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church addressed the crowd. “It is hard to find the words to say how thankful we all are for the people wearing uniforms,” he said.
Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves, who lives in East Meadow, told attendees, “I am honored to stand before you on Memorial Day 2013. We have been involved in many conflicts, but the outcome is always the same. We gather to honor the thousands that gave of themselves so that we could be free and know peace,” she said. “Today is a day that we say thank you to all of the veterans around us.”
Gonsalves expressed her pleasure with the community for keeping alive the memories of those who died defending the United States. “Without them, we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms that we have,” she said. “We must remember.”
Hein, who was presented a citation from Gonsalves, echoed her sentiments. “I want to say thank you to all the folks that came down here today,” he said. “It’s a wonderful thing when people teach their children about the people who fought for America,”