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Syosset Celebrates Memorial Day

72nd Annual Parade

The 72nd Annual Syosset Memorial Day Parade drew over a hundred residents on Monday morning, beginning at Variety Pre-School, heading down Jackson Avenue and into the downtown Syosset area where a ceremony was held at the Memorial Park on Underhill Boulevard.

A WWII veteran and resident of Syosset for over 30 years, Gus Scutari has coordinated the parade for 23 years, and become known as “Mr. Memorial Day.”

“The spectators are a major part of the parade, without them, it would be very dull,” Scutari said. “We thank everyone for cheering us on as we go by. It makes Memorial Day the special day that it is.”

Scutari also read the names of local veterans who have passed away since Memorial Day last year: Otto Meyer, Wallace Reid, Joseph Voros and John Lang.

He was joined by U.S. Marine Mary McQue, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and led the parade in full uniform, as well as by members of the Nassau County Police Department, Syosset Fire Department, fellow VFW and American Legion veterans, boy scout and girl scout troops, the Community Church of Syosset, Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Syosset Chamber of Commerce, Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset, Korean American Friends of Syosset and St. Edwards Gym.

The Syosset High School marching band, H.B. Thompson Band, St. Edwards Band and the South Woods Middle School band all performed in the parade.

Opening the ceremony was the Pledge of Allegiance by Natalie Obedin and the national anthem sung by Hellen Esposito. Nicole Rampanelli brought everything to a close by singing “God Bless America.”  Edward Henshon also played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.

The Rev. Thomas M. Fusco from St. Edward Confessor Church led the ceremony in prayer. NY State Senator Carl Marcellino spoke, urging all residents not only to honor veterans on Memorial Day, but “365 days a year, 24/7.”

Marcellino was joined by Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris Coschignano, who extended a special thanks to the fire department and police department members attending.  Syosset Board of Education Trustee Joshua Lafazan also spoke.

Lieutenant Edward Aulman was “officer of the day”, and Syosset VFW Post 6394 Commander William Santini addressed the crowd as well.

Scutari concluded the ceremony by extending an early invitation to next year’s parade: “Same time, same place, I’ll see everyone here next year.”