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Massapequa Remembers Its Veterans

Flags waved against a cobalt blue sky as Massapequans lined the streets to honor their veterans at the annual Memorial Day Parade, which began on Main Street in Massapequa Park and ended in Massapequa at Veterans Memorial Park.

Driving a 1934 Ford, Frank Keller, 88, a survivor of Iwo Jima recalled why Memorial Day is important, “It means a lot to me, just remembering almost 7,000 men that got killed on Iwo Jima. Not many of us survived that day.” Keller was just 20 years old when he landed on the island. He has been a resident of Massapequa for 61 years.

Bands marched and people waved and cheered from the sidelines as our veterans marched down Main Street. The Long Island Chapter of Canine Companions for Independence and Massapequa resident Yvonne Dagger led the puppy raisers and newly minted canine companions, dogs who assist veterans and the disabled.

The two-hour parade included Scout troops, Elks clubs, pipe and drum bands, and vintage cars. Even the Massapequa Library marched with banners thanking veterans. Looking sharp in formal dress, the fire department brought up the rear with its trucks, including a vintage 1947 hook and ladder, the original one in Massapequa.

After a wreath-laying ceremony with taps playing and a gun salute, silence fell over the crowd as veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country were honored.