Generally Speaking: Nation’s Oldest Memorial Day Parade to step out here

Nation’s Oldest Memorial Day Parade to step out here

Our nation’s oldest continuous Memorial Day Parade, the 148th annual Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade, takes place this coming Monday, May 25.  The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. from 77th Street and goes along Third Avenue to Marine Avenue, up to Fourth Avenue and over to John Paul Jones Park.

Fort Hamilton Army Garrison Commander Joseph Davidson is the Reviewing Officer and WWII Navy Veteran Howie Dunn is the 2015 Grand Marshal. Immediately following the march there will be a memorial service in the park  that will include wreath layings, an invocation, the National Anthem sung by America’s Tenor, Danny Rodriguez, Taps and a 21-gun Cannon salute by the New York Corps of Artillery dressed in 1812 era uniforms.

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With no sign of the Scandinavian ice princess Elsa in sight and summer-like temps hovering in the 80’s, the 63rd annual Norwegian-American 17th of May Parade, drew large crowds of spectators as the colorful march wound its way along Third Avenue from 80th street to 69th street, up to fifth Avenue, over 67th Street and to Leif Erickson Park.

It was a remarkable turnout of marchers, not only from Brooklyn, but other areas of the city, the Tri-state area, and as far away as Boston, Massachusetts. The marchers were led by the NYPD mounted police and the Department’s marching band. Also riding along in open cars were the lovely parade queens, Miss Norway NY, Miss Heritage and Miss Sweden.   At the Grandstand in the park, Arlene Bakke Rutuelo served as emcee and Kenneth Johnson provided the commentary as the participating contingents passed by.

At the post parade ceremonies, Roy Andersen sang the national anthems of Norway and the United States, and in keeping with the 2015 Parade Theme of 1,000 years of Christianity, he sang, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

This year’s Grand Marshal and main speaker was Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium, which is based in Coney Island.  For those of you who haven’t asked, yes, there will be another 17th of May Parade in Bay Ridge in 2016! Our good friend, Lois Hedlund, who is a longtime member of the Board of Directors of the parade committee, told us she thought the best band in the parade is the Fort Hamilton High School marching band.

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