Veterans in Lynbrook and East Rockaway are gearing up to commemorate Memorial Day with festivities, parades and ceremonies this weekend.
In Lynbrook, the weekend will begin on Sunday at 4:30 p.m., when the village will host its opening ceremony for Patriots’ Day at Greis Park.
The annual event will include inflatable rides for children, a mayor’s picnic, a performance by The American Bombshell Girls, a dance performance, a magic show and fireworks. The Atria Tanglewood will also sponsor a dinner for all the veterans, who will have their own VIP tent.
The festivities will then continue with the village’s annual Memorial Day parade, which will start at McDonald’s, 121 Merrick Road, on May 27 at 9:45 a.m.
As part of the parade, veterans from the Marine Corps League, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars will lead local groups, including the Kiwanis and school bands, to the Doughboy Monument at Saperstein Plaza, while several hundred Lynbrook residents look on.
Bill Marinaccio, the adjutant for American Legion Post 335, said there are two parts to the parade: to celebrate the veterans and remember those who sacrificed their life in war. To do so, veterans and village officials will host a ceremony at the Doughboy Monument, where veterans will play “Taps” and salute the flag.
“While it’s a celebration, it’s really all about the memorial,” Marinaccio said, “and to really appreciate it, I think you really have to be at the monument.”
In East Rockaway
To kick off Memorial Day weekend in East Rockaway, clergy from the various faiths in the village will host an interfaith ceremony at Bethany Congregational Church, 100 Main St., on Monday at 8 a.m.
Then, at 10 a.m., the veterans will lead local groups in the annual parade, which will begin at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post. They will then march down the street past the American Legion, and walk up Ocean Avenue to the viewing stage at Village Hall, where a ceremony will take place.
Veterans this year will also have the opportunity to ride on the back of an Army truck that the Village of East Rockaway’s Department of Public Works refurbished to use in case residents have to be evacuated, according to Richard Bilello, the veteran liaison for the village.
He said residents should “make it a day and come on out” to the parade to honor our veterans. “It’s a chance for the next generation to pay respect for those who came before,” Bilello said. “We thank them for their service.”