On Wednesday night, over 50 concerned citizens gathered at the Community Church of Little Neck, where the United War Veterans Council agreed to act as a facilitator for the community and help continue the long tradition.
The parade has taken place for more than 80 years and has grown to one of the largest in the country.
Phil Orenstein, president of the Queens Village Republican Club, is excited the parade will continue.
“This year, more people from the community have come together to ensure that our community's great tradition of honoring those who gave their lives in the line of duty to our country,” Orenstein said. “This year it will be more of a "grassroots" effort with local residents picking up many of the responsibilities of running such a huge undertaking.”
Frederick Bedell, Jr. of Glen Oaks Village has marched in the parade for more than 20 years with the St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council. Bedell was upset when he first heard it might be cancelled, but is thrilled it is back on.
“It’s beautiful,” he said. “I’m very excited. It’s honoring those who gave their lives in previous wars. They keep freedom and liberty alive. It would have been disappointing if it didn’t take place.”
Michael Proto, a member of the St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council and the American Legion Post 103 in Little Neck, is ecstatic the the veteran's council is assisting with the parade.
“It’s very positive,” he said. “We’re going to have to do a lot of work fast, but that’s never stopped anyone before.”
The next planning meeting will take place at the Community Church of Little Neck, 46-16 Little Neck Parkway, on March 26 at 7:30 p.m.