By Noah Singer
GERRITSEN BEACH — Under clear blue skies on Monday, Nov. 11, residents flanked Whitney Avenue to honor community veterans for the annual Gerritsen Beach Veterans Day Parade.
The event took place in the early afternoon along Whitney Avenue and ended at the Memorial Monument at Burnett Street, where supporters gathered for a ceremony.
The parade was sponsored by Argonne Marine Park Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 107.
“This is for the community. It’s to make sure the community keeps aware, teaches the young kids about what it means to be a veteran, and shows the respect and honor the veterans and the flag deserve,” said VFW Color Guard Capt. Gary Lewis.
Marchers included VFW Auxiliary Post 107 members, local Boy Scouts, the VFW Post 107 Marching Band and the Knights of Columbus.
The turnout was received enthusiastically by George Broadhead, a New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame honoree, who said of area residents, “Love them. It’s Gerritsen Beach; it’s a great community, great people.”
The ceremony included a wreath-laying and gun salute by the members of VFW Post 107.
VFW Auxiliary Post 107 President John Reilly spoke about the veterans’ sacrifices, and the crowd stood in silence as Jim Brandow and Gary Wasserman laid wreaths by the memorial.
Many veterans, some decorated with war medals, proudly saluted the American flag that flew above the memorial site.
The wreath laying was followed by Taps, played by bugler Jim Markson.
Ceremony attendee Natasha Minze said, “It’s great that [the parade] brings the community together. Let us celebrate the veterans and remember this important day.”