By Theodore W. General
Thursday, May 25, 2017
This coming Monday, May 29, Brooklyn’s Sesquicentennial Kings County Memorial Day Parade, one of the oldest continuous Memorial Day parades in the nation, will take place starting at 11 a.m. along Third Avenue from 78th Street to Marine Avenue then along Fourth Avenue to 101st Street at John Paul Jones Park (aka “Cannonball Park”).
This year, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has been designated lead veterans’ group and the reviewing officer will be Colonel Peter Sicoli, U.S. Army garrison commander at Fort Hamilton.
Each year, the boroughwide parade is sponsored by the United Military Veterans of Kings County (UMVKC) under the leadership of U.S. Air Force veteran and Bay Ridge resident Ray Aalbue, its chair, who previously served as public affairs officer for Fort Hamilton.
The parade was first held when Brooklyn was an independent city, then the third largest in the country. The 2017 grand marshals are Lieutenant General John A. Toolan, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), a Brooklyn native, and Prisco DeAngelis, a U.S. Army Korean War veteran and longtime president of UMVKC.
Deputy Grand Marshals are World War II veterans and brothers Roy and Jack Vanasco; and New York City Deputy Council Leader Vincent Gentile, who chairs the Council’s Committee on Public Safety and is a 2010 Patriotism Award recipient.
In addition to marching bands, a band from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and U.S. Air Force Ceremonial Honor Guard from Washington, D.C., there will be eight floats and vintage military vehicles and antique cars.
Immediately following the parade a memorial service inside John Paul Jones Park featuring America’s famous tenor, former 68th Precinct NYPD Officer Danny Rodriguez singing the national anthem and “God Bless America,” will take place.
The program will also include wreath layings and a 21-cannon salute by the Veteran Corps of Artillery resplendent in their War of 1812-era dress uniforms.
Parade spectators are urged to attend the post-parade ceremonies.
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