Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade Honors Fallen Heroes


The streets of Forest Hills were alive with patriotic spirit as the American Legion Continental Post #1424 hosted its annual Memorial Day Parade on May 26, honoring fallen service members and local heroes alike.

The parade, a longstanding tradition dating back decades, served as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who served in the armed forces. Held by the legion post, it was a testament to the enduring legacy of the organization, which was established in 1946. Despite facing closure just five years ago due to declining participation, the post has been revitalized and modernized under the leadership of Commander Michael Arcati and Vice Commander Pat Conley, along with other dedicated members.

The Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade also welcomed a distinguished guest this year: New York City Mayor Eric Adams. His presence underscored the city’s deep-rooted patriotism and unwavering appreciation for the sacrifices made by servicemen and women.

Mayor Adams, standing tall among the procession, exemplified a profound respect for those who have served on the battlefield and those who never returned home. His participation in the parade spoke volumes about his commitment to honoring the memory of fallen heroes and supporting the veterans who have bravely served their nation.

“I still say I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God,” Mayor Adams recited. 

Mayor Eric Adams expressed his resolute commitment to honoring heroes and defending the country, emphasizing his personal connection to the cause through the loss of his 19-year-old uncle, who died defending his nation. He vowed to stand boldly against any attempts to tarnish the country’s legacy, refusing to remain silent in the face of adversity.

“We come out today so we can honor our heroes,” Mayor Adams said. “I want to defend this country and display it till my death. I believe in America. God bless America and God bless our troops.” 

The two grand marshals who were announced earlier this month by the legion lead the Memorial Day parade down the streets with flare and spirit. Led by the grand marshals, Vietnam veteran William Hartnett and dedicated civilian Michael Reddy, the procession wound its way through the neighborhood, drawing crowds of spectators who lined the streets to pay their respects.

Hartnett and Reddy exemplified the spirit of remembrance and gratitude as they led the parade with pride and reverence. 

Hartnett, a distinguished veteran who served in Vietnam, expressed deep gratitude for the opportunity to represent his fellow servicemen and women. He emphasized the importance of the Legion’s role in providing support and camaraderie to veterans, highlighting the organization’s commitment to the community.

Similarly, Reddy’s journey into his role as Grand Marshal began over a decade ago when he witnessed the declining participation in the parade and stepped in to support the organization. His unwavering dedication to honoring the sacrifices of servicemen and women has earned him the respect and admiration of the community.

Their presence served as a reminder of the importance of honoring the memory of fallen heroes and recognizing the contributions of those who have served their country.

The parade route, which began in front of the American Legion post on Metropolitan Avenue, traversed through the heart of Forest Hills before culminating at the Remsen Family Cemetery. Along the way, participants and spectators alike paused to reflect on the significance of Memorial Day and to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

As the procession made its way to the Remsen Family Cemetery, where Revolutionary War soldiers rest, the solemnity of the occasion was palpable. 

As the parade drew to a close, the community came together to celebrate the enduring spirit of remembrance and gratitude that defines Memorial Day. Through their participation and attendance, participants and spectators alike paid tribute to the brave men and women who have served their country with honor and distinction.

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