Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was met with sustained applause as he waved and smiled to the crowd during the Whitestone Memorial Day Parade Monday afternoon.
Looking fit and healthy and as if he were still campaigning for the U.S. Senate, Giuliani marched from Veteran's monument at 149th Street and 15th Drive to 150th Street and 23rd Avenue, with state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin (D-Flushing), and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing).
As Giuliani turned the corner, a crowd of supporters who had gathered outside the Carvel ice cream shop clapped loudly and shouted their support for the mayor.
Onlookers stood two and three deep along the parade route to cheer the marchers on.
Mitch and Debbie Krevor, whose fathers both served in World War II, were happy Giuliani decided to march and said parades such as the Memorial Day one help unite the community.
Mitch Krevor, who grew up in Whitestone and had marched in the parade as a Boy Scout, said he was glad to see everyone in the neighborhood turn out to celebrate.
"It's a reaffirmation of the neighborhood and family and community," he said. "This tradition goes back years and we can't forget the sacrifices that were made to give us what we had."
Also marching were the St. Mel's Twirlers and the Queens Chapter Number 32 of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Betty Thomas, whose daughter Karen Hubela and 17-month-old grandson live in Whitestone, said she well remembers the events leading up to World War II and its aftermath, although she was just a child.
"I was singing 'From the Shores of Tripoli' as they walked by, but I don't think the younger ones knew the lyrics," she said. "This means a lot to me. I was alive during the war. I was just a little girl. It's too bad the younger people don't appreciate what their forebears have given to us."
Karen Hubela was appreciative of the support the veterans received and said it was well-deserved, but was upset that her employer had remained open for the holiday.
"My company was open for work today, which I think is disgraceful," she said. "I work for the Census and I don't understand how a federal agency can stay open on Memorial Day. It's a disgrace."
©2000 Community News Group
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