BY NATHAN DUKE
On May 28, the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Parade—which is the largest march celebrating the holiday in the United States—will wind its way through the two communities for the 91st time.
The theme for this year’s parade is the 65th anniversary of the Korean War cease-fire, but it also commemorates 1968, which was considered the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War. The featured military branch for the parade is the U.S. Navy.
Marine Corps Brigadier Gen. William H. Seely III will act as the parade’s grand marshal, while Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) is the march’s man of the year and Douglaston ROTC advocate Andrea Licari-LaGrassa, Ph.D., is woman of the year. Local resident Linda Lee will receive a community service award for her work as executive director of Korean community services at Metropolitan New York.
Bayside resident Ted Han, a Vietnam-era lieutenant junior grade in the Korean Navy, will also be a parade marshal. He will be accompanied by groups representing Korean veterans of Vietnam and other wars.
“It’s time to recognize the contributions of all Americans who are veterans, not just those born here,” said Victor Mimoni, the parade’s spokesman, who added that Seely was born in Saigon. “The freedom won at so high a cost is what makes America great and Queens the most diverse place on earth.”
A posthumous parade marshal honor will be bestowed upon Deborah Crosby, who will represent her father, Lt. Commander Frederick Crosby, a Navy pilot killed in 1965 whose remains were discovered and returned to the United States in 2017. The 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard will be honored following the deaths of four of its members in a helicopter crash in Iraq on March 15.
A party of French World War II veterans and a French consular official will ceremonially present a Silver Star medal and other artifacts belonging to the late Eugene Brady, a Douglaston resident who was a member of the Fighting 69th Infantry, to the historian of his old unit.
The parade will include 15 bands, more than 150 military units from across the world and a number of emergency, military and antique vehicles. Elected officials representing Queens at the federal, city and state level frequently march in the parade.
On May 28, an interfaith service will be held at the Congregation L’Dor V’Dor Oakland Little Neck Jewish Center, located at 49-10 Little Neck Parkway, at 10 a.m. A wreath-laying ceremony will follow at Monument Park in Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy’s schoolyard at 11:15 a.m.
Father Smith Hall will hold a veterans’ breakfast at 11:45 a.m. The line-up for the parade begins at 1 p.m. at Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard. The parade steps off at 2 p.m. Complimentary food and beverages will be served after the march from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Divine Wisdom.