Floral Park parade led by F.P. native

Floral Park parade led by F.P. native

The annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony sponsored by the Floral Park American Legion with the cooperation of the Incorporated Village of Floral Park will be held on Monday, May 29.

The parade participants will assemble on Elizabeth Street with the start at 10 a.m., head north on Plainfield Avenue, and then west on Jericho Turnpike where Legion members will place a wreath at the memorial near the Hawthorne Ave. firehouse.

The parade will then proceed south on South Tyson Avenue and then east on Tulip Avenue, where the ceremonies will begin in Memorial Park at 11 a.m.

The parade grand marshal is Major General Herbert F. Ryan.

Ryan grew up in Floral Park.

He married the former Anne Ford and they have four grown children and four grandchildren.

The Ryan’s lived in Floral Park prior to and during WWII.

Today they reside in Breezy Point.

General Ryan is veteran of the Korean War, having served in the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Division.

After returning from Korea, he attended both St. John’s College and Law School.

While in school he served as a staff sergeant in the 69th Infantry.

In 1959, he was commissioned in the Army Reserve and served in a variety of Infantry officer assignments to include the 11th Special Forces Group.

He is the former commander of the 310th MP Battalion here on Long Island.

Before retiring from the Army Reserve in 1986, he graduated from the U.S. Army War College and was promoted to full colonel while commanding the 1174th Transportation Unit.

In 1987, he continued his military career in the New York Guard commanding both the 9th and 14th Regiments, and his last assignment upon promotion to brigadier general was commander of the 88th BDE.

Ryan was promoted to Major General in 2003.

All three of his sons have served in Iraq and Afghanistan as army reserve officers.

Ryan was promoted to Major General before retirement in 2004 and is a retired Attorney and Adjutant Professor at St. John’s.

His decorations include the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star medals and the Combat Infantryman Badge along with the Special Forces Tab and Senior Parachutists Badge.

He is a life member of both the VFW and American Legion and is former post commander in both veterans’ organizations.

The guest speaker will be Colonel (Retired) Geoffrey Slack.

Slack is a graduate of Hofstra University and earned a master’s degree in Strategic Science from the Army War College.

He has served in Ft. Reilly, Kan., and was active in the New York National Guard.

He was a first responder during the World Trade Center attack in 2001 and has served in Kuwait and Afghanistan supporting missions throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.

He assisted in training the joint Iraqi and Kurdish police forces in Kirkuk.

Slack also served as an advisor to the Jordanian government and their Border Guards Forces Command assisting in refugee reception operations.

He has received dozens of military awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge.

He is currently the Director of Veterans Affairs within the Touro College and University System.

Slack is married 36 years to Debbie and has two children, William and Mary.

The advancement of colors will be led by Sgt.-at-Arms Ed LaChapelle followed by a remembrance of those missing in action by Legionnaire Past Commander James Conti.

Father Thomas Fusco, pastor of Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church, will give the invocation followed by the National Anthem by Kasey Williams and the Pledge of Allegiance led by president of the Floral Park American Legion Auxiliary Theresa Whalen.

General Logan’s order establishing Memorial Day will be read by past commander James Whalen.

Post Commander Matthew Cacciatore will recognize the Grand Marshal.

Distinguished guests will be introduced by Past Commander Bill Corbett followed by a musical selection by the Floral Park Memorial High School Band led by Lee Duke.

There will be wreath presentations by the American Legion and Auxiliary, the Floral Park Woman’s Club, Floral Park AARP and Floral Park Volunteer Fire Department supervised by Officer of the Day Joseph Langone and assisted by local Boy Scouts.

TAPS will be played by Brian Maw and Matthew Fusci from the Floral Park Memorial High School Band followed by the Roll Call of Departed Comrades where the names of Floral Park residents who died in service to the United States will be read by Post Commander Matthew Cacciatore.

Gold Star Mothers, those who lost a child in service to America, will be introduced and presented with memorial flowers by Past Auxiliary President Dolores Johnson, assisted by Scotty Beetle, Past Auxiliary Vice President.

Floral Park Mayor Dominic Longobardi will present greetings and Whalen will introduce the guest speaker Col. (Ret.) Geoffrey Slack followed by the Benediction by U.S. Army veteran, Pastor Gainus Sikes of the United Methodist Church of Floral Park.

The flags will then be retired and the ceremonies concluded by everyone singing “God Bless America.”

The Floral Park American Legion invites all veterans to march with them in the parade and wants to thank the Mayor and Floral Park Village Trustees for their cooperation and assistance.

The Floral Park American Legion Post was established in 1919 and promotes good citizenship, law and order, Americanism, and supports local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, assists local veterans in need, visits a veterans hospital each month and hosts dinners at the Post for disabled veterans and conducts Flag Day and Veteran’s Day ceremonies each year.

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