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Whitestone, College Point plan Memorial Day events

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College Point and Whitestone will pay their annual tributes to U.S. veterans this weekend when they host the annual Memorial Day parades through the communities’ main thoroughfares.

As in past years, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Borough President Helen Marshall, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) and City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) are among the elected officials expected to head up the College Point and Whitestone Memorial Day Parades, which have been a tradition in the area for nearly 50 years.

When Bob Graziano took over the reins of the College Point Memorial Day Parade three years ago, he said there was never a doubt in his mind why he was doing it: The veterans deserve it.

“If we didn’t have them, we would have no freedoms whatsoever,” Graziano said. “They protect the foundation for our entire system of life. There’s no reason that us as American citizens should take that lightly. You’re here for a reason. We shouldn’t take that for granted.”

The College Point parade will begin at College Point Boulevard and 28th Avenue at 1:45 p.m. Sunday. The route will head east to 120th Street and then back to College Point Boulevard, before turning north and ending at MacNeil Park.

Whitestone’s parade, which is run by the Whitestone VFW Post 4787, will begin Monday at noon, when a ceremony will be held near the corner of 149th Street and 15th Drive. Following the ceremony, the parade will begin, circle back to the starting point by heading down the Cross Island Parkway service road, onto 150th Street, down 17th Road and finally back toward 149th Street.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 6:35 pm, October 10, 2011
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