By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Timothy M. Ahearn, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs
NEW YORK (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from USS San Antonio (LPD 17), veterans, Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) cadets, and several community organizations marched in Brooklyn during the Greenpoint Veterans Memorial Parade, May 24.
The parade, now in its 15th consecutive year, commenced at 9 a.m. and marched down Manhattan Ave. to Saint Anthony's Roman Catholic Church for Sunday Morning Mass.
"This whole parade is for the fallen, but also for the kids so they know what Memorial Day is all about and what the military is all about," said Rick Kenney, Commander of St. Stanislaus Memorial American Legion Post #1771, the second largest post in Brooklyn.
Active duty service members in attendance came in hope of paying respect to veterans and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
"I figured it would be a nice way to give back to these men," said Fire Controlman 1st Class David Beal. "These guys came before us, so it's nice to give back and remind them that they are not forgotten."
Cadets from the Graphics Campus JROTC program in Manhattan were led by retired Lt. Cmdr. Evan Dash and marched in formation along with the Sailors, Marines, and veterans.
"This is a good way for my cadets to celebrate service and pay homage to the fallen," said Dash.
Following Morning Mass, the parade returned to the Post where a brief memorial service was held.
"We should never forget what the fallen have given to help keep our country a better place," said Beal.
Fleet Week New York, now in its 27th year, is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services. The weeklong celebration has been held nearly every year since 1984.