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Letter: Proud To Be An American

As I’m emptying the garbage pail along Middle Neck Road (it’s 5:15 a.m.), a thought pops into my mind. In the next four hours the streets are going to be aligned with spectators, fans and family as the annual Great Neck Memorial Day Parade kicks off.


The thought that I’m thinking about is that I’m the first line of defense. The Boston Marathon bombing as only six weeks ago. From the starting point (Schenck Avenue), through the next three-quarters of a mile of the parade route, I’m emptying the pails, making sure there isn’t anything that shouldn’t be in them. For the next four-and-a-half hour I’ll be working, which includes watering flowers, cleaning the sidewalks. making sure the American flags are hanging properly and, of course, the trash receptacles. Later on I will be marching in the parade with my daughter and her Girl Scout troop, while my wife is marching with our boys and their school.


My job is to make sure the village is clean. When I’m not working, I volunteer with one of the local fire departments making sure the town is safe. I’ve been marching in the parade for the past nine years, but this year I’m honored that I can march with my family and I’m even prouder to be an American.


Thanks to all the armed forces that fought in all the wars and adversaries that has faced our great nation. Because of you, we live in a peaceful society. Let freedom ring: always.


Jonathan Staller