Turning parade into political event?
To the Editor:
The members of the Board of Education and administration were surprised and disappointed to learn from the Memorial Day Parade Committee that we were not welcomed to participate in this year’s parade, and that our annual invitation has been rescinded.
As the parade has traditionally been a village event that includes all members of the Lynbrook community, we are extremely concerned that an organization is using its own influence to restrict certain members of the community from participating.
This action is a direct response to the board’s decision at our Feb. 26 meeting not to approve the veterans’ property tax exemption. It should be noted that this decision was based on the fact that the Board does not wish to increase the property taxes of some residents in order to reduce the property taxes of those certain groups or organizations. It is not a reflection of how we view our veterans and honor them for the service given to our country.
We have always worked closely with the various veterans’ organizations to instill in our students the importance of supporting and appreciating these brave men and women. Throughout the year, the district has sponsored several activities, including our school-wide Adopt-A-Soldier program, assemblies honoring veterans from the various wars, fundraising efforts for Wounded Warriors, Valentines for Vets, numerous efforts to collect needed personal supplies to send to several military units, Flag Day ceremonies that include honored veterans, and assemblies where West Point graduates speak with our students. As recently as February, district fundraising efforts resulted in nearly $2,000 being donated to Peaceful Minds, an organization that treats veterans with holistic care. Representatives from Peaceful Minds visited with our students and enjoyed a student assembly, including a patriotic sing-along. At the end of May, our students are also scheduled to visit Lynbrook Progressive Care to entertain the residents with patriotic songs.
The announcement by the parade committee to rescind our invitation has turned a cherished tradition in our community into a political event.
While this behavior dishonors all that is democratic and good in our country, we will not allow it to discourage us. We have taken great pride each year in watching our students march to honor those who have fallen for our country and to see them acknowledge their bravery and service. This year, we will continue to do so.
The Lynbrook School District Board of Education