2012 Memorial Day Parade draws extra large crowd
May 30, 2012 | 5626 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo: Michael O'Kane
Photo: Michael O'Kane
Photo: Michael O'Kane
Photo: Michael O'Kane
Hundreds lined Grand Avenue on Sunday, May 27, to honor those who have answered the call to serve their country at the 28th Annual Memorial Day Parade in Maspeth.

Residents stood or sat on the curb and in lawn chairs with their families, waving American flags, smiling at passersby and enjoying the beautiful weather as they participated in a century-old American tradition.

The parade featured members of the local Girl Scouts, Kiwanis Club, the Air Force and other armed services, P.S. 58, Maspeth Federal Savings Bank and the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together civic group. The line of participants was peppered with performances of "Yankee Doodle Dandee" and other American classics from local bands.

Two WWII Veterans, Paul Plack, of the U.S. Navy, and Michael Tasik,

of the Army, were honored at a ceremony in the Maspeth Veteran's Square following the parade.

Captain Laura Zimmerman and Maspeth local Jim O'Kane were selected as this year's Grand Marshals.

"I'm very proud," said Zimmerman of the parade as she sat in a classic car waiting for the the procession to set off down Grand Avenue.

Zimmerman was in the service for 25 years.

"It was the support of the Maspeth community that kept me in the military, especially my family," she said.

When asked what the parade means to the residents of Maspeth, she replied, "it means everything that is important to our country - freedom, freedom of speech and caring for others."

Suzanne Sherman, a Maspeth resident of six years, said as she watched the procession pass down the street with her family that the crowd at this year's parade was huge.

"This is america, this is freedom," she said. "Look at the crowd that came out. People stopped and remembered, thankful."

Maspeth Federal Bank President Ken Rudzewick, agreed that the crowd was extra large this year.

"There are larger crowds on the sidelines than I've seen in a long time," he said.

He said the parade was first held in Maspeth during World War I, but took a few years hiatus, and was reinstated as an annual event 28 years ago.

"I think it's fabulous," he said of this year's celebration, "one of our best."

(Heather Senison)

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