Thursday, 06 June 2013 00:00
There were 71 communities throughout Long Island that scheduled Memorial Day Parades on Sunday and Monday, May 29 or May 30. They have taken the time to reach out to community organizations to participate in what has become a traditional event to honor our Veterans. My father and my father-in-law are both Veterans from World War II. I have lived in Westbury all my life, and from my early childhood, I have been present for the Westbury Village Memorial Day Parades.
Your community Veterans and the organizations they represent deserve better. Yes, having a service at the Community Center is appropriate for the occasion, but do you think for a moment that we cannot do better. Does this fulfill the needs of village, town and county politicians? I guess so, since you, the Mayor of Westbury, have made a sinful decision to cancel the Village’s long standing Memorial Day Parade. Maybe the Mayor’s Office along with Village trustees can make personal appearances to community organizations well in advance of Memorial Day, seeking out their participation and arrange for local school bands to enhance the parade and get the youth of Westbury involved, along with their families. Mailings alone obviously are NOT the answer.
Do not blame any of the shortcomings of the Village hierarchy on the Westbury Fire Department or the Veteran Organizations. I am privy to the Westbury Fire Department scheduled events, and the Village Memorial Day Parade is always at the forefront, being the first parade of the year. You do NOT get this exposure to honor our veterans during a political exploitation in front of the Community Center. You as the Mayor should be at the forefront, along with representative speakers of the Veteran Groups.
If you want someone to blame for diminished participation, you have to look no further than yourself and your Board of Trustees. Get them involved early on and not just one trustee. If the community needs reminding, then get out and do it. Don’t tell people through Facebook or emails that the cancellation of the parade was due to the Westbury Fire Department & VFW not wanting to run the parade. My uncle, a member for 69 years, and my father and husband, all members of the WFD, are examples of dedication to their community.
The Village of Westbury has clearly run the parade for the last 3-4 years. It was you, Mayor Peter Cavallaro, who cancelled the parade, no one else.
Only in recent Memorial Day Parades has there been a need for the Village to ask the WFD Color Guard to lead the parade at the last minute, or request the WFD band to play for your political Memorial Day Ceremonies on Post Avenue. Do your part as Mayor and give honor to the Veterans and never diminish what has been long established ways of doing so within the Westbury Community. If you have something better to offer rather than the Memorial Day Parade, then let’s hear it. Until then, you keep the long standing Memorial Day Parade intact.
My concerns are truly heartfelt and hope that the future brings back a tradition of a meaningful display of community participation to honor those who have and continue to give so much to our country.
I thank you for the attention you give this important matter.
Annalisa K. Durnan