2005-05-27 / Editorial/Opinion

Honor Those Who Gave Their All For America

Monday is Memorial Day. For many, Memorial Day means a day off from work or school, a time to hit the malls to save some money on Holiday Sales material. It should mean much more, however. It is a day to honor those who gave their lives for America’s continued freedom as well as those who serve today in far-away places at the risk of their lives. At one time, Memorial Day was a time for massive parades and celebrations in Rockaway. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, hundreds of marchers paraded in the streets from Far Rockaway to Broad Channel. Thousands lined the streets to cheer our veterans and youth groups. That began to die with the controversy over the war in Vietnam and continues today with the disputed war in Iraq. There will be two parades in the area this weekend. On Sunday, the Prince-Wynn American Legion Post and the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars will team up for a parade on a flag-lined Cross Bay Boulevard. On Monday, the Daniel M. O’Connell Post of the American Legion will host the Rockaway parade, which will begin at St. Francis de Sales Church on Beach 129 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. After a mass at the church and a memorial at the plaque for the Four Chaplains, the parade will move east to the memorial at Beach 122 Street and then to the Doughboy and Doughgirl Memorials on Cross Bay Parkway. If things go as they have in past years, there will be few marchers in either parade and fewer people lining the streets. That is too bad. Whatever our feelings about individual wars, we should all support the men and women who gave their lives to ensure our freedom.

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