By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Stephen M. Votaw, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs
NEW YORK (NNS) -- More than 30 service members participated in the annual Village of Hastings-on-Hudson Memorial Day Parade and remembrance ceremony as part of Fleet Week New York, May 24.
Service members had an opportunity to meet local firefighters and policemen, and interact with the local town's people.
"This was such a wonderful experience," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Stephanie Brown. "They welcomed us openly into their beautiful town, and the ceremony honored the memories of veterans who have gone before us. It was very moving."
The ceremony, held by members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, included a flag ceremony, wreath-laying, roll call of the deceased, and the playing of the national anthem and "Taps."
"Too often, people forget the true meaning of Memorial Day," said Brown. "It's about remembering those who have gone before us and paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country."
After the ceremony, service members were treated to a barbecue picnic and were given a chance to mingle with locals.
"All of the people here a very nice and welcoming," said Marine Corps Sgt. Tyler Crane. "I have lost good friends in combat and this is always a hard day of the year for me. To come here and be treated so warmly really helps show me just what we have been fighting for."
The event began in 2011 and has since become a staple during Fleet Week New York.
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.