College Point Remembers the Fallen with 103rd Citizens Memorial Day Parade

By Sherica Daley |

The College Point Wreaths Paying Homage to the heroic heroes who have their lives for our country who are from College Point

As the breeze from the East River blows into the Hermon A. MacNeil Park in College Point, Queens, members of the community pay respect to the fallen veterans in the 103rd College Point Citizens Parade. On Sunday, May 26th, 2024, members of the community came together to dedicate this day to the departed of the Armed Forces, from past and present. 

This timely tradition in College Point started on June 7th, 1865 to welcome the return of the 34th Light Artillery. The Artillery had 42 members of College Point who were part of this team. Now entering the 103rdyear, the parade that started at 28th Avenue and College Point Avenue, people waved the American Flags with pride and showed their pride for the fallen members of College Point from the Civil War, Vietnam War WWI, and WWII. 

As the parade made its way down College Point Avenue, whistles blew and bells chimed as members of the FDNY Ladder Engine 297 and Ladder 103 stopped to honk their horns and shake hands with children. The FDNY was not the only one that marched in the parade. Queens Borough President Donovan Richards came to visit and meet the members of the College Point community and the families of the fallen veterans in the community. 

The North Fork Trolley by the Sponser Poppenhusen Institute

The parade continued down to College Point Avenue to Poppenhusen Avenue, where they had the closing ceremony in Hermon A. MacNeil Park. Here, Parade Chairman and President of A Better College Point Civic Association, Jennifer Shannon was the mediator of the closing ceremony. She introduced the College Point Wreaths with the names of all the Veterans that born and raised in College Point, and who are no longer with us. “This was not possible without sponsors,” said Shannon, which includes the World War I Monument located on College Point and 18th Avenue,  College Point Ambulance Corps, St. John’s  Lutheran Church, and St. Fidelis Church. 

The ceremony moved to the closing remarks and speeches. The Closing Prayers were given by Reverend Wilson John Daniel and the Our Father Prayer spoken in English and German, by community member Teresa Vormittag. The introduction of the Grand Marshalls Lucie Shannon, Jennifer’s mother, and Judy Zoldak. 

Next, was the 9-year-old Poppy Queen, Aubrey Rose Leonardo, whose great-grandfathers served in the army in WWI. She took the stage with her speech explaining “Poppy is the flower of remembrance,” she said. Poppies were used as a symbol of remembrance of the fallen on this Memorial Day. 

The closing ceremony had special guests who came to speak to the College Point community. The first guest was Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. “ On a day like this we are reminded, especially with as we look at conflict all around the world, that freedom isn’t free,” said Richards. 

“On a day like this we remember those who never made it back home,” he said. The second guest Councilmember of District 19 Vickie Paladino, who has been marching in the College Point Parade for six years, came to commemorate the community for coming together and showing their pride not only for College Point but for the borough of Queens. 

The final guest Curtis Silwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, took the stage and spoke on the importance of the American Flag, not only for the Memorial Day celebration but for American History. 

As the closing ceremony, took a moment of silence, a message was left onto the community about the sacrifice the veterans made with the message “We will Never Forgot those who gave their lives for our freedom” 

(From Left to Right)- Revere Wilson John Daniel, Guardian Angels
Founder Curtis Silwa , Grand Marshalls Lucie Shannon and Judy Zoldak, Parade Chairman
Jennifer Shannon, Poppy Queen, Aubrey Rose Leonardo, Council Member Vickie Paladino,
and Teresa Vormittag , who recited the Our Father Prayer in German.

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