Throggs Neck Hand Salutes our Veterans

On Sunday November 9 The 30th annual Throggs Neck Veterans Day Parade proudly honored all of the men and women veterans, from all wars, who served our nation with dignity. Under beautiful sunny skies and warm temperatures the parade kicked off from Tremont Avenue and Lafayette Avenue. Many digintaries proudly marched to honor our veterans.

Brigadier General ( Ret.) Loree Sutton, now Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs proudly mahed to honor our veterans.Commissioner Sutton served in The Middle East during the first Gulf War. As a psychiatrist she is very familar with both mental and physical issues veterans confront after returning home. Her Chief of Staff, Catherine R. LaPorte, US Army Retired, identified herself as an “army brat” when I asked where she originally lived. Just like the Commissioner and as a veteran she has a deep commitment to our veterans. I was impressed by the energy and warmth the commissioner showed as we marched. She constantly left the parade route to greet onlookers, seniors, children, veterans and all. One can imagine her very energetic and positive role in serving our nation, its veterans and now the City of New York. At the ceremony she presented a proclamation from Mayor Bill de Blasio to Michael Rahilly, Executive Director of the Throggs Neck Vetrans Day Parade Committee. Sunday, November 9 was proclaimed NYC Throggs Neck Veterans Day Parade Day.

This year’s Grand Marshall was Captain Frank Parisi. Captian Parisi is a native Bronxite and graduate of Regis High School.He graduated from the Naval Academy with distinction in 2004 and that same year was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps. By 2008 he was commissioned a captain. He served with distinction in many special operations including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2012. This past August he left active service. He remains on Ready Reserve. Captain Parisi stated his pride in serving this nation and in being a resident of Throggs Neck.

Other dignitaries included Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Democratic State Commiteeman Tom Messina ( 82nd AD) representing Congressman Joe Crowley; Ben Randazzo Representing Assemblyman Mike Benedetto; District Leader Andrea Siegel(80AD) representing Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj; Marjorie Velazquez, District Leader, 82nd AD; Jeffrey Lynch, Assistant Commissioner, Department of Transportation; Elvin Garcia, Bronx Representative Community Assistance Unit; Ken Kearns, District Manager, CB # 10; Jeremey Warneke, District Manager CB # 11.

The reviewing stand was by Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park. At the ceremony Michael Rahilly gave a very moving and inspirational speech. Captain Paraisi gave a speech which truly showed the caliber of his commitment to our nation, the Marines and to all veterans. He is most deserving of a hand salute. We all thank him for his service. Patrick Devine, Co-Founder of the Throggs Neck Veterans’ Day Parade spoke and as always spoke with great sensitivity and understanding. Patrick is war hero having served in Vietnam-Nam and surviving many fierce battles. He is now a hero to all veterans. Personally I am proud to serve with him on CB # 10 and to have him as a friend. The ceremony ended with the singing of The Marines Hymn “From The Halls of Montezuma”.

After the ceremony Commissioner Sutton walked around Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park with Patrick Devine who was involved with this emorail ppark for many years. She took a keen interest in it and listened to Patrick’s comments and concerns with her heart. The City acquired this site in June 1957, in conjunction with the continuing construction of the Throggs Neck and Cross-Bronx Expressways. The park remained unnamed until a 1959 local law named it Weir Creek to honor the Native American tradition in the area. In May of 1976, New York City Mayor Abraham Beame renamed this property Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park to honor the 200th anniversary of the American Revolution and the veterans who have faithfully served to defend our country throughout America’s history.

This was a remarkable and very moving day. We never do enough to honor those who have served uus with distinction.

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