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Little Neck Mem Day parade to feature Army unit, awards

Supporters line Northern Boulevard in Little Neck for the annual parade.
TimesLedger Newspapers

It didn’t become known as the largest Memorial Day Parade in the country for nothing.

Tens of thousands of spectators will flock to Northern Boulevard to be a part of this year’s 85th annual Douglaston-Little Neck Memorial Day Parade Monday at 2 p.m.

The parade spans the stretch from Great Neck, L.I., at Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard through 247th Street in Douglaston.

The 77th Sustainment Brigade, a U.S. Army unit originally from Fort Totten and now stationed at Fort Dix, N.J., will serve as the parade’s grand marshals alongside honorary grand marshal Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Borough President Helen Marshall.

Parade chairman James Rodger, who has more than 10 years of experience in helping organize the event, said in the parade’s mission statement that the main goals were to obtain and provide support and assistance to needy disabled veterans while enhancing educational awareness for area schoolchildren.

Rodger, who called the parade the largest in the country with more than 80,000 attendees, said he hoped to continue to honor America’s veterans by upholding the event’s reputation.

In conjunction with the parade, an awards ceremony will be held Friday at 7 p.m. in St. Anastasia’s Father Smith Hall, at Alameda Avenue and 245th Street, to honor the children, schools and parents who participated in this year’s art and essay contest.

Grand prize winners will be awarded a $500 savings bond and a trophy. Other contest winners will also be given merit certificates and special medallions. All the winners were also invited to march in the parade under a special banner.

Also marching in the parade will be several area high school marching bands, elected officials, civic organizations and military groups.

An interfaith service will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at Zion Episcopal Church, at 243-01 Northern Blvd., just before a wreath-laying ceremony by St. Anastasia’s church at 11 a.m.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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