James R. Russell, commander of the Manhasset Post 304, American Legion and John F. Keitz, parade chairman, have announced the parade order and schedule for the traditional Manhasset Memorial Day Parade, and for the attendant memorial services. All Manhasset residents, their families and friends are invited to join the Legion in this remembrance of the great sacrifices of American heroes. The theme of the parade this year, "So Freedom Can Prevail," is a reminder that our military is presently engaged halfway around the world in order to preserve our freedom and way of life from the effects of terrorism. Continued vigilance and readiness is the price of freedom. Additionally, it is a reminder of the ultimate sacrifices made by previous and present generations to preserve this freedom. We must never forget what they did and why the died.
The Legion will place American flags on the graves of veterans in local cemeteries and will participate with other Legion posts to decorate veteran's graves at Pinelawn National Cemetery, in preparation for the Memorial Day ceremonies. Memorial wreaths will also be placed at the five memorial monuments in Manhasset. Plandome Road has been appropriately decorated for the occasion.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 30, at the Congregational Church of Manhasset, 1845 Northern Blvd., Manhasset at 10 a.m. in honor of our war dead. All are urged to attend and join with the Legion in remembrance of the great sacrifice of these citizen soldiers.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, the parade will start promptly at 10 a.m. There are over 50 organizations scheduled to march including six bands and more than 30 pieces of fire apparatus and other vehicles.
The route of the parade will be along Plandome Road from Plandome Court to Memorial Place, with excellent public viewing along the entire length. Those planning to march in the parade are expected to be present, ready to march in their designated assembly areas no later than 9:30 a.m.
The First Division, which assembles on Plandome Court South, facing west, includes the Nassau County Police Department Motorcycle escort; the U.S. Army 319th Statue of Liberty Band: the American Legion - Manhasset Post 304 and the Auxiliary Unit; the Veterans of Foreign Wars; Legion vehicles and the Poppy Queen. First Vice Commander John F. Keitz will be the division commander.
The Second Division, which assembles on Heights Road, facing west includes the Inisfada Gaelic Pipe Band; the Boys Scouts of America: Troop 97 and 71; the Cub Scout Packs 3 and 101; the Girl Scouts of America: Junior Troops 502, 506, 509, 510, 513, 516, 522, 528, 539, 550, 551, 4078 and 4103; Brownie Troops 503, 504, 511, 512, 514, 524, 526, 529, 530, 532, 533, 540, 542, 546, 553, and 555; Daisy Troops 505, 519, 520, 521 and 531; Manhasset-Great Neck E.O.C.; and Adventures in Learning. Second Vice Commander Anthony W. Buzzitta is the division commander.
The Third Division, which meets on Plandome Court, facing south, behind the First Division, includes the Manhasset High School Marching Band; the Manhasset Police Athletic League; Manhasset Baseball League; Community Care of Manhasset; Manhasset Chamber of Commerce; the Kiwanis Club of Manhasset; Rotary Club of Manhasset; Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations; and the North Riding Chapter NSDAR. The Division Commander is Past Post Commander Edward J. Gaus.
The Fourth Division will assemble on Bournedale Road North, facing west, (starting at the junction with Plandome Road) includes the Manhattan College Pipe Band; the Tower Foundation; Church of Our Savior Lutheran Nursery School; the North Shore Nursery School: Manhasset Soccer Club; Knights of Columbus; the Guild of Saint Francis Hospital; and the North Shore Right to Life Committee. The Division Commander will be William G. Martin.
The Fifth Division, which forms on Heights Road, facing west, behind the Second Division includes the Molloy High School Pipe Band; the Plandome Fire Department; and the Manhasset U.S. Post Office. The Division Commander is Paul Early.
The Sixth Division, which assembles on Summit Drive, facing east, provides the parade climax - the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department with the Nassau County Police Department Pipe Band led by the commissioners of the fire district.
The parade will conclude in formation at Memorial Field, where a special area will be designated for public viewing of the Memorial Services. The program will begin with the National Anthem, played by the Manhasset High School Band under the direction of Randy Knudsen and sung by Legionnaire A. Scott Wilson.
The Reverend Nicholas Zientarski, associate pastor, Church of Saint Mary will give the Invocation. The Poppy Queen, Katherine Gilman, will then be introduced.
The presentation of the floral tributes by the public will follow after which Chaplain William G. Martin of Post 304 will read the Roll Call of the honored dead, accompanied by drummer Lee Meryash of the Manhasset High School Band. Taps will be rendered by Justin Gaither and Mr. John Keneally, both with the Manhasset High School Band, and SFC Richard Hall and Sgt. Kenneth Barnet both of the 319th, Statue of Liberty Band.
Vice Commander Anthony W. Buzzitta will present school awards to James Alexander, St. Mary's High School and to John Ryan Love, of Manhasset High School. The Boys' State Scholarship will be awarded to Mr. Daniel Vogel, Manhasset BSA Troop #97, and to Michael Gavalakis, and Mr. Adam Care, both representing Manhasset High School.
Barbara Pierce, president of the Manhasset Auxiliary 304, will preside over the girl's awards. Marilyn Furlong, Americanism Chairlady, will present school awards to Stephanie Shieh of Manhasset High School and Katherine Moreno from St. Mary's High School. Doris Bezkor, Girl's State chairlady, will present the Girl's State Award to Miss Katherine Gilman of Manhasset High School.
After brief remarks by Commander Russell, the Reverend David Lowry, pastor, Christ Episcopal Church will give the benediction. To close the service, Legionnaire A. Scott Wilson will lead the audience in singing God Bless America accompanied by the U.S. Army 319th. Statue of Liberty Band directed by CWO Stephen Joseph, band master.