On a warm, sunny Memorial Day morning, hundreds of New Rochelle residents, veterans and active military gathered to honor those who gave their lives serving the United States.
Beginning the day with a ceremony at Memorial Plaza, located on the corner of Memorial Highway and Main Street in the heart of the city’s downtown, local elected officials and event organizers memorialized the nation’s fallen soldiers.
Peter Parente, the event coordinator and president of the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association of the City of New Rochelle, and Mayor Noam Bramson spoke on the importance of Memorial Day and what the day truly signifies for the city’s veterans.
Bill Moye, a 99-year-old World War II veteran who is chaplain emeritus for the American Legion Post 8 and the United Veterans, led the group in prayer.
Moye was recently honored by the state Senate in Albany and inducted into its New York Veterans’ Hall of Fame for his service in Africa and Europe during the war.
Former New York State Assemblyman Ron Tocci and Parente concluded the ceremony by placing a wreath in front of Memorial Monument, which is dedicated to all the men and women who have served in the military.
“The turnout was wonderful,” Parente said. “It hit the target of memorializing and remembering those that have passed away and have made the ultimate sacrifice. That’s what it was all about.”
Following the ceremony, local organizations, schools and groups including the New Rochelle Public Library, Westchester Habitat for Humanity, New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, New Rochelle fire and police departments, New Rochelle High School and Trinity School marching bands, and active duty marines and sailors visiting New York for Fleet Week proceeded down North Avenue into Hudson Park in the New Rochelle Memorial Day parade. The parade concluded with a waterfront ceremony honoring those lost at sea.
Festivities in the park following the parade included musical performances and a helicopter landing.
“People really enjoyed it, getting to interact with each other and interact with the veterans,” Parente said.
The parade and Hudson Park picnic were sponsored by A.J.’s Burgers, Pronto Pizza and the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association of the City of New Rochelle.
-Reporting by Katie Hoos