Thursday, 06 June 2013 00:00
I understand that several members of the community were dismayed that there was no Memorial Day Parade in Westbury this year. I share those concerns, but it is necessary for me to set the record straight.
The village did not decide not to have the parade, and I personally take offense at those who have tried to “spin” it that way. The village has never run the parade. The parade was always run by several community groups. The organizations that had run it in the past decided, for reasons of their own, not to run the parade. If no community organizations want to or are able to run the parade, there is no parade. Many of the members of those organizations are older and no longer able to walk the parade route, so maybe that was one reason that they decided not to do a parade. Many communities have in the past several years discontinued their parades for these reasons.
The village organized a very suitable and appropriate Memorial Day Service at the Community Center. As I said in my remarks at that service, it is not important how the community decides to remember Memorial Day, it is important that it does so in a suitable, respectful and appropriate manner. The Memorial Service the village organized was a very suitable and appropriate remembrance. Many who attended said that they favored that service over the parade, which has not been well attended in recent years.
At the end of the day, no one is to “blame” for not having a parade. A convergence of events and changed abilities caused there to be no parade. If the community groups that used to run the parade want to do so in the future, the village would certainly participate as in the past, but the community groups need to decide that they want a parade, and that they are going to organize one. They need to cooperate in doing so. On a positive note, Chief Doug Ingram has indicated to me that he is interested in having the fire department working with the community groups and village to resume having a parade in the future, hopefully next year. The village would embrace that and do everything that we can to facilitate and assist that effort.
I hope that this answers some of the questions, and corrects some of the inaccuracies about this subject. Any resident who has concerns in this regard should feel free to contact me at village hall (516-334-1700, 111) or in the evenings or weekends at my home at (516-997-2096). I would be happy to discuss this with anyone in more detail.
Peter I. Cavallaro, Mayor