As generations of veterans gathered at the Ridgewood Memorial Triangle at the corner of Cypress Avenue, they were met with dozens of local civic groups, marching bands and families from all over the community, as well as words from elected officials thanking them for their dedication and service.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office of Veteran Affairs also delivered a proclamation naming May 26, 2014, as Glendale and Ridgewood Memorial Day Parade Day.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley recognized those who fought and lost their lives, but also reminded those who gathered of the soldiers who are still fighting in Afghanistan and around the world.
“Today we remember all of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Crowley said. “We wouldn’t be the country we are today without them.”
Danny Wisotsky, acting chairman of the Allied Veterans Memorial Committee, said that everything from recognizing Korean War vet Charlie Dunn as grand marshal to the lineup of elected officials and participants has made the parade this year even more special than before.
“This is about remembering the veterans that we’ve lost along the way,” Wisotsky said.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo thanked veterans for their service, and said he will fight with local legislatures to address a growing suicide rate among those who previously served.
“We will not rest until that number is reduced, and we will do what we can for our veterans in the legislature,” Addabbo said.
Congresswoman Grace Meng added that despite the recent Veterans Administration controversy in Washington, she and her colleagues are doing all they can to improve the situation for all veterans.
“Today we gather together to pay tribute and honor the men and women in the armed services, and their families who have given so much so that we can enjoy the daily freedom and democracy we have every day,” Meng said. “Thank you to the many who gave up their tomorrows, so that we may enjoy our today.”