Main Street was lined in red, white and blue on Monday morning as Port Washington community organizations marched in the annual Memorial Day Parade.
Vintage cars, cheerleaders, dogs and service members participated in the parade, attended by hundreds of people. American flags provided by the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce could be seen scattered through the crowds.
Among the Port Washington organizations that marched in the parade were Boy and Girl Scout troops, the Cow Neck Historical Society, the Port Washington Police Department and the Landmark among others.
The parade ended at the Sousa Bandshell in Sunset Park where a service was held to commemorate Port Washington veterans and those who died in service.
The Memorial Day Parade’s grand marshals, Maria L. Salazar and Arnold Kline, were honored by their respective post commanders.
Salazar, VFW Post 1819’s selected grand marshal, served in the United State Marine Corps. for nine years, enlisting after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001. She was deployed to Iraq in 2003, where she spent her 23rd birthday.
Port Washington American Legion Post 509 selected Kline as its grand marshal for 2019, the year that the organization celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Kline, a 35-year Port Washington resident, was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1958 and worked for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Denver and Lewiston, California.
VFW Post 1819 Commander John Baptiste Fiore said when he looked out at all those gathered in Sunset Park, “Wow, this town turns out.”
He said of Salazar, “I will tell you, I am damn proud to have her as part of my post.”
The Rev. Barry Parker of St. David’s Church gave the invocation in which he said, “We need to be constantly reminded of our gift to freedom, and of those who gave all to make sure future generations continue to know life in a free democratic society.
“Our children must know who they were, what they did and why they did it. And to do anything less would be a disservice to their sacrifice and their memories.”
After Schreiber High School’s marching band and members of the American Legion performed the national anthem, Fiore reminded attendees to never forget those who paid “so terrible a price to ensure that freedom would be our legacy.”
“Through their names may their faith and the passing of generations never forget what they have done,” he said.