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Memorial Day Parade a Success

Charting the Growth of the Annual Event

I can remember as a boy growing up in Massapequa that it was a huge thrill to march in the Decoration Day Parade and to this day, even though the name has been changed to Memorial Day, I’m sure that the participants who marched down Broadway and Park Boulevard felt the same as I did way back in the 1930s. This year’s parade was co-sponsored by the American Legion Post 1066 and the Sgt. Peter F. Colleran Post 7763.

During those early years all of the kids were given a small flag to wave as we marched north on Ocean Avenue. The parade always would step off from the present day Fairfield School and wind north, cross over the much different looking Sunrise Highway to a raised plaza at the south side of the railroad station where clergy and community leaders would address a sparse crowd and we all watched the Veteran groups place wreaths on tripod stands that seemed to remain there for weeks.

Our 2010 parade has grown as our community has. In those early days besides the school kids, we were lucky to have a band, it may have been from the Fire Department or the American Legion, one Boy Scout and Cub Scout troop, a few twirlers, very few elected officials, the Fire Department members marched followed by maybe three of their trucks, plus the Gold Star mothers.

Times, places and our names have changed in the Massapequa’s from Fort Neck to South Oyster Bay to Massapequa in 1890 and so has the community enthusiasm. Hundreds of marchers, organizations, veterans groups, dignitaries and invited guests in cars were cheered along the parade route by well wishers standing under the shade of trees or from their umbrellas.

The reviewing stand was on Park Boulevard with the wreath-laying ceremony held at Brady Park in Massapequa Park where a large crowd was assembled. All in all, this year’s parade has got to go down as one of the finest commemorating the Memorial Day holiday in the Pequas.