2014-03-07 / Letters

End The Parade

Dear Editor:

Think it's time to follow Hoboken and just end the St. Patrick's Day Parade here in Rockaway. The parade itself this year was a great event with great "Irish Pride" on display with all the pipe bands and various organizations lending their support and the organizers did a great job. They were very enjoyable to watch and what the parade should be about. However, if you are lucky enough or unlucky on this day to live on one of the beach blocks or the boulevard which I do, you were witness to what this parade has been attracting over the last years and it AINT PRETTY!

Hundreds of drunken teenagers, many of whom do not live here in Rockaway but many do and let me preface this opinion with having two teenage sons of my own who are like many other teenage boys who are growing up in Rockaway. I am not naive! The invasion which took place this year was probably the most rowdy and widespread as I have ever seen. The boulevard up and down and Beach 129th street, in particular, looked like a scene from Central Park from years ago with drunken teenagers taking over the whole neighborhood. The prayer garden adjacent to SFDS church was the scene of 40 kids being handcuffed after a stabbing in the area. Yes a stabbing! The police, who did the best they could with the manpower they had, were all over the place as they should have been. They just could not keep up with the packs of kids. But if this is what this parade has become and I know I am not the only one who feels this way let's just not have the parade. It has been like this for quite some time and I think most people are sick and tired of seeing our streets turn into war zone.

This is not what we as a neighborhood want to see on a day we honor a Saint. Before some kid gets killed at our parade let's just do what Hoboken did. End The Parade.

THOMAS MORGAN

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Parades don't stab people,

Parades don't stab people, people stab people.

As a child growing up in the

As a child growing up in the Rockaways I remember often seeing ugly acts of violence during the hot summers months on the beach. There was even the occasional gang fight, and these were not Bloods and Crypts, they were Lords and Dukes. They weren't from Rockaways, and some came from Brooklyn, not unlike which Mr. Morgan describes. We didn't shut down the beaches then and we should not stop the parade now. The Rockaway Saint Patrick's Parade and associated events are culturally magnificent and a great source of pride to many. I watched the parade and also many of the youth that too were enjoying it. We need to fix our youth and leave the parade alone. Maybe a call to 911 alerting the authorities of the drunken youth problem would have prevented the unfortunate stabbing event, maybe not. As they say, don't let the actions of a few "rain on our parade" Tom Elges


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