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New Rochelle Memorial Day 2011

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New Rochelle Memorial Day 2011

May 30, 2011 - 23:41
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The New Rochelle Memorial Day Parade and Picnic at Hudson Park, under the leadership of Peter Parente, President of the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association, has become one of the best public events in Westchester County. The 2011 version did not disappoint.

The Memorial Day service was called to attention by Parente who served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. The invocation was given by William F. Moye, Chaplain of the UVMPW and past Commander of the Westchester VFW. The 96-year old Moye is a World War II veteran. Remarks were made by Mayor Noam Bramson, Commander Thomas O'Keefe of American Legion Post 8, and Former New York State Assemblyman Ronald C. Tocci. The keynote address was given by Brig. General Donald B. Smith. Max Gordon of New Rochelle High School played Taps. Parente and Bramson placed a wreath at the memorial at the center of Memorial Plaza.

Leading the parade was Grand Marshal Peter Parente followed by Honorary Grand Marshal's Brig. General Smith and Brig. General Fermijon Marrero. Members of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard from Fleet Week. The USS Iwo Jima and USS New York was represented. The 101st Signal Battalion Army based out of Yonkers, NY marched. Also marching was the Mayor and other elected officials from New Rochelle, the UVMPA Color Guard, the New Rochelle High School Marching Band, floats with veterans, children and New Rochelle residents. A fleet of vehicles from the New Rochelle Fire Department, New Rochelle Police Department and various County and State law enforcement organizations drove the route, lights and sirens blazing. A helicopter from the Westchester County Police Department made a surprise appearance, flying over the parade route. The USO Liberty Bells sang and the Greg Wescoff trio performed on their own floats. The IONA College Pipe Band marched and played. Miss Westchester 2011 Christina DeLeon and Miss Westchester Teen 2011 Samantha Gold waved to the crowds Members of Daisy Troop 7446, New Rochelle Girl Scouts, New Rochelle Boy Scouts Troop 40, U.S Naval Sea Cadets, the Trinity Elementary School Band and students and parents from Trinity, Columbus Elementary students and moms, the New Rochelle High School Cheerleaders and many others marched along the route. The parade route ended at Hudson Park.

At Hudson Park there was a Waterfront Ceremony. Andrea Bennett sang the Star Spangled Banner. Peter Parente made an introduction for remarks by Brig. General Fermijon Marrero. There was a benediction by Bill Moye, a Salute to the Dead with the American Legion Post 8 Firing Detail and a "Lost at Sea" ceremony by Unit 8 of the Ladies Auxiliary. Taps was played by Barbara Granata and Staff Sergeant Kenny Barnes. Amazing Grace was performed by the IONA College Pipe Band.

Food and drinks were provided to the men and women invited from Fleet Week. The general public were invited to sample food from AJ's Burgers, Pronto Pizza, and the Post Road Ale House. There were musical performances throughout the day starting with the USO Liberty Bells, West Point Jazz Knights, A to Z Band and Third Stone. Dennis Nardone served as emcee.

A highlight was the dramatic arrival of a CH-46 Sea Knight U.S. Marine helicopter which circled Hudson Park before landing in the parking lot near the New Rochelle Rowing Club. The CH-46 is a medium-lift tandem rotor transport helicopter, used by the United States Marine Corps primarily to provide assault transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment. Hundreds of children and former children lined up anxiously to inspect the aircraft up close and from the inside.

United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association is comprised of American Legion Post 8, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 439, Macio Bacon Post 2882, VFW Disabled American War Veterans Chapter 172, Purple Heart Chapter 21, Masonic War Veterans Post 31, Jewish War Veterans Post 42, Combat Infantrymen's Association, and Korean Veterans. Emeritus members are Flandreau Post 509, GAR Spanish War Veterans Camp 37, Queen City 1381, American Legion Catholic War Veterans Post 212.

NOTE: If you have photos from Memorial Day 2011 that you would like to share please upload them to the web and create a slideshow and then send us the HTML embed code or contact us to make arrangements to transmit photos to Talk of the Sound at robertcox AT newrochelletalk DOT com.

There are 4 Comments

Robert Cox's picture

The Memorial Day activities in New Rochelle have become, over the past several years, among the most inspiring, somber and fun events in Westchester County. Many hundreds of volunteers come together over the holiday weekend to mark the occasion and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country; an effort enjoyed by many thousands.

He will not seek out the accolade himself so it is up to others to point out that the entire spectacle yesterday -- from the moving ceremony at Memorial Plaza, to the parade from the Plaza, down Huguenot and then down North and finally along Shore Road into Hudson Park, to the entertainment, food and the arrival of a Marine helicopter -- is the realization of the vision of one man, Peter Parente.

Parente has done more than any other person to bring New Rochelleans together to honor and remember New Rochelle's veterans and, in doing so, brought New Rochelle together as a community. Even better was bringing activity duty men and women, in New York for Fleet Week, to New Rochelle where they were treated to the best of what New Rochelle has to offer.

Thanks to all those who made yesterday possible but, in particular, Peter Parente for brining us all together and reminding all of us what New Rochelle is really about.

Peter Parente you did a outstanding job and so did many others who helped make this a great day in New Rochelle.Mr.Cox thanks for the wonderful pictures you were great in all the photos you took. It's to bad that News 12 and the Journal News did not cover this great event.Thank god we have this web site to keep us informed of the great things that happen in our city.Thanks again to all who helped out in this great event.

Robert Cox, you have produced an outstanding record of the Memorial Day events. I can say so because I viewed the ceremony and parade. Peter Parente certainly also deserves a lot of credit. Anyone who was unable to attend the festivities can get a very good idea of what happened from your blog.

We are most fortunate to be living in this great country and of course, New Rochelle. Although we face challenges as a city and country, it's good to see the how ordinary citizens can come together to pay their respect and show support for the troops, past and present, who have made our way of life possible. Perhaps extraordinary better describes the citizenry. As the city extended it's hand to say thank you to the troops it was humbling to hear them say things like "no sir, thank you for thinking of us" or " nobody treats us like New Rochelle does". Pretty impressive stuff.
Much like parade coordinator Peter Parente. His vision and leadership pulls this event all together, but he's the first to say that it's because of the many who contribute their time and services that make it a success. A true leader.
So, I consider my self fortunate to be involved as I am with so many extraordinary people. Thankful for the opportunity to contribute to an event that truly makes New Rochelle shine, but most of all to the men and women who continue to serve this country long after the barbeque ends. May you all stay safe and come home soon. I thank you and New Rochelle thanks you.

If you weren't there, or if you want to look back on the event to relive a moment or two, scroll through the slide show and thank another New Rochelle asset, Talk of the Sound. The pictures are worth a thousand words. Pictures not found anywhere else. Thanks Bob!

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