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Pols slated to march in Whitestone parade

Compared with some other marches in the borough, the Whitestone Memorial Day Parade does not get a lavish amount of attention.

But this year organizers are hoping that prominent attendees will help bring the event the credit it deserves.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Whitestone) are all expected to attend the parade Monday.

About 300 people from various community groups are scheduled to march Monday afternoon, said Edward Michalec, a spokesman for Whitestone's American Legion Post 131, one of the organizers of the event.

Michalec hoped to attract a large crowd to the parade.

"As a result of 9/11 and the situation in Iraq, we should be more conscious of our flag and patriotism," he said. "We lost many troops."

The parade, which was founded in 1919, is one of the oldest in Queens, Michalec said.

"People have been watching the parade and waving their flags for years," he said.

Vice Adm. John R. Ryan, president of the State University of New York Maritime College in the Bronx, will serve as the grand marshal of the parade.

Ryan's long career with the U.S. Navy includes serving as a commandeer in Naples, Italy, where he was responsible for operational control of six naval bases.

The parade is organized by the American Legion as well as Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4787 and Jewish War Veterans Post 415, all based in Whitestone.

The Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association, Whitestone Community Volunteer Ambulance, the Whitestone Hebrew Center and the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church are among the organizations planning to participate in the parade.

The event will begin at Memorial Park at 149th Street and 15th Drive at noon. Schumer, Bloomberg, Marshall and Padavan as well as state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) and City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) are expected to address the crowd.

After ceremonies including an invocation, the national anthem and laying of wreaths, the march will begin at about 1 p.m.

The marchers will head north on 149th Street to 12th Avenue, east to 150th Street, south to 18th Avenue and return to Memorial Park on 149th Street.

College Point's parade is set for Sunday. The event begins at 2 p.m. at College Point Boulevard and 26th Avenue.

Marchers will head up College Point Boulevard to the East River at Herman A. MacNeil Park.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 141.

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