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Rosedale veterans cancel annual memorial parade

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After more than 20 years of flags waving and bands marching, Rosedale veterans have decided not to hold their annual Memorial Day Parade this year.

Rather than marching, members of the American Legion Post 483 in Rosedale will be having a service at Veterans Square and Sunrise Highway at noon Monday, said Fred Kress, president of the Rosedale Civic Association.

But Rosedale residents still will be able to join the 13th annual Laurelton Memorial Day Parade, held by Veterans of Foreign Wars Col. Edward O. Gourdin Post 5298, and other Laurelton civic groups. Their parade is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Francis Lewis and Merrick boulevards.

The Rosedale veterans announced their decision at the civic group’s meeting last week, Kress said.

“They don’t feel that they can make the walk and they don’t feel that people would come out,” he said.

Despite offers from members of the Rosedale Civic Association to drive the veterans along the parade route, the veterans held to their decision, Kress said.

“They just don’t want to have it this year,” he said. “They don’t feel that people appreciate what they’ve done anymore.”

But Kress disagrees with the veterans’ decision to cancel the parade.

“I was a little surprised,” he said. “It’s a mistake, I think, because there has been a surge in patriotism. I would think there are more people willing to come out.”

Members of American Legion Post 483 were unavailable for comment.

Participants and spectators at the Laurelton parade will conclude with a ceremony at the Veteran’s Memorial Triangle, after marching down Merrick Boulevard and then 225th Street, said T.J. Tharpe, commander of VFW Post 5298.

About 30 groups were expected to participate, but more may come ready to march the day of the parade, Tharpe said. The parade will feature civic and business groups and public school students, including a band from the Magnet High School for Humanities and Arts, Tharpe said.

Tharpe is hoping for a good turnout, especially since Rosedale residents will likely join the Laurelton parade, he said.

“They’ll be over here then,” he said. “We’re looking for a big crowd.”

But Kress already is looking to next year, and he and the Rosedale Civic Association are hoping to plan the Memorial Day Parade, he said.

“We’re planning to take the torch next year,” he said. “It’s been a tradition in Rosedale since I was a kid. We feel it’s very important.”

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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