Bay Ridge’s long standing tradition of honoring our Nation’s veterans during Memorial Day continues.
On Monday, May 25, for the 148th year, the Kings County Memorial Day Parade will take place. The event, hosted by the United Military Veterans of Kings County, will be held in Bay Ridge for the 23rd consecutive year.
This year’s parade, which begins at 11 a.m., will start at 78th Street and Third Avenue for the first time in eight years. “That’s the biggest change since 2007,” said Parade Chairperson Raymond Aalbue. “It will give us more people. It’s a great opportunity to pay respect to people who have lost their lives.” That’s not the only change for this year’s parade, as it’s expected to be bigger than previous years. “This year, we have a lot more people marching,” said Aalbue, noting that the Catholic War Veterans will lead all Brooklyn Veteran Service Organizations. “They’re going to have a float. It’s the first time that the parade has been in Bay Ridge that an organization has had one. We are looking forward to that one.”
The FDNY will also be featured in light of its 150th anniversary. “There will be more of a (FDNY) presence during the parade. There will be an antique firetruck and current truck. A bunch of firemen will be marching, which will be great to see.”
The NYPD will also have a prominent presence, Aalbue said. “We’re going to have NYPD patrol Brooklyn Borough south marching. That’s important. It’s good for the parade as well as everybody in the NYPD,” he noted.”
Another special aspect of this year’s parade is the Grand Marshall, World War II (WWII) veteran Howard Dunn. “He’s the benchmark for all of the veterans to measure themselves,” said Aalbue. “The community has always been front and center for him.”
This year’s Deputy Grand Marshals are WWII Veteran Major William B. Harris, USAF Ret., Korean War Veteran & American Ex-POW James Faulkner and Korean War Veteran Donald Feldman. The Reviewing Officer is Colonel Joseph Davidson, commander of US Army Garrison Fort Hamilton.
The theme of last year’s parade was “Lest We Forget” to commemorate those lives lost in battle.
“We decided to use it as a recurring theme it means so much,” said Aalbue, encouraging even more vets to consider marching. “It’s just one day but this community really appreciates vets all year ‘round.
“All veterans in Brooklyn are encouraged to come out to march in the Brooklyn Kings County Memorial Day Parade,” he added. “You don’t have to be a member of a veteran service organization to march. Just report to 78th and Third Avenue and the Chief of Staff, Anthony Giovinco will tell you where to march.”