2002-05-25 / Community

Rockaway Memorial Day Parade Set

Rockaway Memorial Day Parade Set

The annual Memorial Day Parade and Services sponsored by the Daniel M. O’Connell Post #272 of the American Legion is scheduled for Monday, May 27, 2002 at 11 a.m. It will begin with a Memorial Mass at St. Francis de Sales Church located at Beach 129 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard immediately followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Four Chaplains plaque outside the church.

The parade will then proceed down Rockaway Beach Boulevard with services at Memorial Circle, Beach 120 Street, and a concluding ceremony at the Doughboy Monument, Beach 94 Street. The general public and organized groups are welcome to march in the parade. It is requested that groups check-in with the parade chairman Jack Domfort that morning.

The American Legion is privileged to have as this year’s honoree and Grand Marshall Hector Tello. His selection epitomizes values held dear to the American Legion of Service to country and community. A native of Ilo, Peru, Hector emigrated as a youth to Queens, attending Richmond Hill High School and then Sullivan County Community College on a soccer scholarship.

After college Tello enlisted and served four years in the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Sergeant with a mobilization specialization in ordinance. He completed overseas tours in Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. After his honorable discharge he became a New York City Police Officer and since 1983 was permanently assigned to the 100 Precinct in Rockaway.

In 1994 he was selected to be the precincts Community Affairs Officer, a high visibility position that he held until his retirement in 2002. As Community Affairs Officer, Hector regularly attended and was a frequent speaker at numerous local civic association meetings. He served as the Precincts Captain’s liaison to the community and was the "man to go to" on community policing matters.

He coordinated special details, parades, festivals, block parties, fairs, and other special events. Of particular note is his founding of the Interscholastic Olympics, an annual amateur competitive athletic program for the school aged children of our community. Now in its ninth year, this innovative program fosters positive relationships between participants, the Police Department and the community at large. The recipient of numerous professional and civic awards, It is hoped that his retirement will not mark his absence in the Rockaway community that he has served so well. Semper Fidelis!


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