Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00
Carl Marchese wanted to the Memorial Day Parade on May 27 honor those who couldn’t march that day, because they fought the good fight but couldn’t come home to their families.
Marchese, commander of American Legion Mineola Memorial Post No. 349 and everyone else assembled at Wilson Park at 10:30 a.m. Memorial wreaths were delivered to the Village Hall on Saturday, May 25.
He was named Post Commander in 2012. Marchese was instrumental in attaining Yuri Karasz, the first female Post member since its inception in 1922.
“I was a little disappointed at the turnout,” Post Commander Marchese said. “The weather couldn’t have been better. We put a lot of effort into this thing. It was my goal to dedicate this ceremony to the dead, not the living. My personal feeling is it’s good the politicians show up, but I didn’t want to lose sight of what the day is about.”
Marchese served as master of ceremonies and the parade honored marine Daniel Cribbin and Owen Reill of the 10th Mountain Division, who both reside in Mineola and served in Afghanistan. The two were the flagbearers of the parade and received a standing ovation at the closing ceremony.
VFW Commander Tom Scardino and WWII veteran Oracio (Ray) Vaz were also honored. They fought in the same rifle company in D-Day invasion in Normandy and didn’t even know it, until they met in Mineola years later.
Marchese served at Fort Bragg, N.C. for airborne training. He trained with the U.S. Rangers at Fort Benning, GA in 1961. From there, he received his posting to Fort Dix, N.J. as a company officer for advanced infantry training. What was supposed to be a short stay, ended with an 18-month commission because of the escalation of the Berlin Wall crisis.
“My job was to train young men in advanced infantry techniques before they went into combat,” he said.