Residents of Ridgewood, Glendale, and neighboring communities showed up for the long awaited 84th annual Ridgewood/Glendale Memorial Day Parade on Monday.
Veterans, active military personnel, community groups, elected officials, and locals alike gathered to honor and remember the men and women who died in service to their country.
“Today, we remember those that gave their lives in service to this country. This is not the day to be barbecuing and going to sales, you can do that any time,” Russell Goeller, parade chairman and committee member, said.
“This is the day where everyone who had a loved one has been touched by loss in any of these great wars in places some of us haven’t even heard of ,” he continued. “We have to remember them.”
He honored the men in Marine Corps uniforms who led the parade, thanking them, and encouraging each individual in attendance to do the same.
The group also celebrated this year’s Grand Marshal, Paul J. Schottenhamel, who served in the Vietnam War, and is a member of the Joseph B. Garity Post No. 562, American Legion.
Several local elected officials shared words of support and gratitude, including Congresswoman Grace Meng, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, Glenda Garcia, deputy commissioner at the NYC Department of Veterans Services, NY State Senator Joseph Addabbo, and City Councilman Robert Holden. State Assembly hopeful, Brent O’Leary, also made an appearance at the parade.
“Memorial Day is one of the most important days in American culture, as we celebrate the people who paid the ultimate sacrifice to enjoy the freedoms that our country gives,” O’Leary said. “My father was in the Navy in World War II, and thankfully he came home. But I know every day that even if you look at what’s happening in the Ukraine, if it wasn’t without these people who are willing to sacrifice, we would not have the country that we are in.”