Long Islander News' Huntington Village Memorial Day Parade Photo Gallery
The parade was organized by American Legion Post 360, Huntington, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1469, Huntington, in honor of those who gave their lives for their country in times of war or conflict.
Town Of Huntington Hosts Annual Wreath Ceremony
Service men and women, veterans, community leaders, residents and several local elected officials attended the town’s annual Memorial Day Wreath Ceremony, which was held at town hall on Sunday.
Supervisor Chad Lupinacci spoke about the importance of remembering the service men and women who died answering their nation’s call. He said, “To honor the memory of the brave sacrifice our service men and women made, we gather here today and say, thank you. We remember you. We are grateful to you.”
Lupinacci added, “It is our sacred duty to honor those who defend the great United States of America. Today and always, we must stand united in supporting our nation and the Constitution that guarantees our freedoms. Our fallen heroes deserve no less.”
Councilwoman Joan Cergol said Memorial Day is a day of recognition for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, including those commemorated in the Veterans Plaza outside town hall.
Cergol said, “As we solemnly mark this Memorial Day… think about all of those who perished in the line of duty. And, as we do that, remember the words of that great World War II general, George S. Patton: ‘It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God such men lived.’
Because of them, we are able to be here today.”
Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone also attended the ceremony and addressed the crowd.
Members of the Church of Saint Patrick’s Youth Choir and Adult Chorale performed patriotic songs throughout the event.
A moment of silence was held to honor members of the New York Air National Guard 106th Rescue Wing who perished in a helicopter crash in Iraq earlier this year, including Master Sgt. Christopher Raguso, of Commack.
Wreaths were laid for World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, and Women’s Veteran Monuments and to honor troops in the Middle East; Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
Footage of the event has been archived on the town’s website.
Editorial: A New Start For An Old Tradition
I read a comment posted on Facebook by a longtime member of the Huntington community that lamented how thin the crowds were that lined Main Street for this year’s Memorial Day parade.
I thought the opposite. I thought that after a two-year absence, turnout for the Memorial Day parade was tremendous. But then I was looking at who was marching.
You see, it’s been a few years since there was any parade to honor our nation’s war dead in Huntington. Its revival is thanks to crews from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1469, Huntington led by Commander Phil Tepe, and American Legion Post 360, Huntington led by Commander Andrew Brady. Both men are veterans deeply involved in the Huntington community, and both committed themselves to bringing back the Memorial Day march through the village.
They answered the call.
So too did numerous veterans groups whose members marched proudly beneath the colors.
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts joined the march. So did the Elks from Huntington Lodge 1565.
They all answered the call.
Elected officials answered it too. There were parades and ceremonies in virtually every community in the Town of Huntington; elected officials in a crazy day of carpooling and van-hopping manage to make it to nearly every one.
Answering the call.
In a tradition that is one of my favorites, Monday’s parade passed beneath a giant flag draped from between two fire department ladder trucks. I watched as volunteers in blue and freshly shined apparatus representing fire departments from all over town passed under that venerable arch. As I did, I noticed Kip Lukralle standing nearby. The Harborfields High School coach said he came to the parade because, well, he’d had always come to the parade. His father, he explained, was a 65-year member of the fire department and he’d always come to support him and the department. Last year he showed up and finding no evidence of a parade, he figured he’d had the time wrong. Like so many, he had no idea that there simply wasn’t one.
This year Kip got to wave to the fire department volunteers because, like so many others, they answered the call.
So I have this to say to anyone who judged the parade by the size of the crowd: you were looking at the wrong crowd. The many who answered the call in honor of those who gave their lives in service of our nation were a great crowd.