The 91st annual Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade will observe the 65th anniversary of the Korean War cease-fire, remembers the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War, and pay homage to the U.S. Navy.
The largest Memorial Day Parade in the nation begins at 2 p.m.on Monday, May 28, at Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard.
A Navy pilot killed in 1965, whose remains were discovered last year, will be represented by his daughter and family as a posthumous parade marshal.
Deborah Crosby will wear the marshal’s sash for her father, Lieutenant Commander Frederick P. Crosby, whose remains were only recovered and returned to the U.S. in 2017.
Parade organizers had planned to honor the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard for their rescue work after superstorm Sandy, and hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The focus changed when four members of the Westhampton-based unit died in a helicopter crash in Iraq that killed seven guardsmen.
The families of Long Islanders Staff Sergeant Dashan Briggs, Master Sergeant Christopher Raguso, Captain Andreas O’Keeffe, and Captain Christopher Zanetis will receive honorary marshal sashes .
Marine Corps Brigadier General William Seely will represent the Navy as Grand Marshal and swear-in a group of future sailors.
Councilman Paul Vallone is Man of the Year, ROTC advocate Andrea Licari-LaGrassa of Douglaston is Woman of the Year, and local resident Linda Lee will receive the Community Service Award for her work as executive director of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York.
Baysider Ted Han, a Vietnam-era Lieutenant in the Korean Navy, will also be a Parade Marshal. He will be accompanied by groups representing Korean veterans of Vietnam and other wars.
“It’s time to recognize the contributions of all Americans who are veterans, not just those born here,” said parade spokesperson Victor Mimoni, noting that Seely was born in Saigon.
A party of French WWII veterans will also participate, along with a French Consular official who will present a Silver Star medal and other WWI artifacts belonging to deceased Douglaston resident Eugene Brady to the historian of his old unit, The Fighting 69th.
For the first time, organizers plan to live-stream the entire parade at LNDmemorialday.org.
“We want the families of our marchers to be able to watch from home if they can’t make it,” Mimoni said.