In Rosedale, an observance will begin at 10 a.m. outside the North Fork Bank at 243rd Street and Mayda Road, then proceed up 243rd Street to Veterans Square and a four-sided obelisk. When the structure was erected in 1968, it became one of the first Vietnam War memorials in the state, and it lists the names of seven Rosedale men who died in the conflict. Many of their families still live in the area and march in the parade, filled with both pride and sadness."There's a lot of mixed feelings," said Fred Kress, chairman of the Rosedale Civic Association, which took over the event from veterans groups several years ago.Once at the square, services will begin at 11 a.m. and be led by Msgr. Thomas Graham, the parade's grand marshal and the head of the soon-to-be shuttered St. Pius parochial school. Kress said 100 marchers showed up last year and were joined by 50 more for the service."Every year's it's been decreasing," he said, noting the challenge of letting newcomers to the area know about the observance and the day's importance.An hour before the Rosedale parade starts, marchers at a separate event will gather at 9 a.m. at the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton. They will then walk as a group to the Veterans Memorial Triangle at 225th Street and Conduit Avenue. Once there, the American flag will be raised, ceremonial shots will be fired in the air and Taps will be played next to a tomb-shaped monument. The procession will then go to nearby Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5298 for refreshments.The event, usually attended by 300 to 400 people, is co-sponsored by the Laurelton Lions Club, the Gardens Club of Laurelton, Concerned Citizens of Laurelton, American Legion Post 1946 from St. Albans and the VFW post."It's a lesson to the young people not to take things for granted," said Fritz Casimir of Laurelton, who served as a military policeman for two years in the 1960s and is a member of the VFW post.Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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