Memorial Day Parade Monday
Rockaway’s annual Memorial Day Parade will kick-off at noon on Monday, May 29 as the community comes together to honor the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.
Sponsored by the Daniel M. O’Connell Post #272 American Legion, the day’s events start with a Memorial Mass at St. Francis de Sales Church at 10:45 a.m. and a ceremony in front of the Four Chaplains Memorial at 11:45 a.m. The parade will assemble at Beach 129 street and Rockaway Beach boulevard and will step off at approximately noon. It will proceed eastward to the Veterans Memorial Circle at Beach 121 street for a brief ceremony. The parade will then continue east to the Doughboy Monument at Beach 95 street for the annual memorial services.
This year’s grand marshal will be Michael P. Honan, a representative of Friends of Memorial Circle. About 12 years ago, Maureen and Gerry Walsh, together with the Honan and Boden families, began to devote their efforts to bringing the Veterans Memorial Circle back to its original beauty. Some other neighbors would occasionally assist in planting and maintaining the area. For years it had become overgrown, neglected and a dog run for the neighborhood animals.
Eventually, Veterans Memorial Circle came to the attention of the Jewish War Veterans, particularly Moe Weinschel, who took on the task of brining Memorial Circle to the attention of locally elected officials. With several groups now working together, new stone and metal plates were made, and the grounds are professionally manicured. The task of planting still resides with the Friends of Memorial Circle.
Michael Honan is singularly honored to represent the men whose sacrifice is clearly evident by the stone markers. Honan served honorably in the Navy, enlisting in the late 1960’s. After his service, he continued to serve in the Naval Reserves, rising to the rank of captain, from which he retired after 28 years in 1998.
Honan is a 20-year resident of the Rockaway community and has chosen this neighborhood as a place where he is raising his family. Honan’s wife, Fran, and daughters, Roseanne and Katie, share his commitment to the maintenance of the Memorial Circle as a place of honor and respect for the young men who left Rockaway to serve their country in time of need.
Daniel M. O’Connell Post #272 urges the community to join them in this tribute.