By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Where are the young guys? The committee organizing the 146th Annual Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade is asking that question as preparations for the big march are being finalized. The parade is set to take place in Bay Ridge on Monday, and the committee wants younger veterans to march.
Prisco DeAngelis, president of the United Military Veterans of Kings County, and a Purple Heart recipient, said he’d like to see younger war veterans participate in the parade alongside their older comrades. “I’ve been marching in this parade for over 50 years. Our ranks get smaller every year as we lose a few more of our comrades who fought in Korea and World War II. Our Vietnam Veterans are getting older as well. We need to get our younger veterans to come out and march,” DeAngelis, a Korean War veteran, said.
Veterans do not have to belong to a veteran’s organization to march, Parade Chairman Ray Aalbue said. He urged anyone interested in marching to call Anthony Giovinco, the parade’s chief of staff, at 917-664-8850.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Lest We Forget.” The parade will kick off on at 11 a.m. on Third Avenue and 87th Street. The parade will conclude with a ceremony in John Paul Jones Park on Fourth Avenue and 101st Street.
Borough President Marty Markowitz is the grand marshal. “Marty has done so much for the parade and the Veterans of Brooklyn, the executive committee has chosen him to lead the parade as the Grand Marshal this year,” Aalbue said. “He has been an honorary chairman for many years, but this year we wanted to let him enjoy the spotlight on his own,” he said.
The deputy grand marshal is Coast Guard veteran Marty Maher, chief of staff of Brooklyn Parks and Recreation for the New York City Parks Department. “Marty Maher has supported the parade in so many ways, he fully deserves this recognition,” Aalbue said.
The 2013 reviewing officer is Col. Eluyn Ginés, commander of the Fort Hamilton Army Base. “We are excited that Col. Ginés has accepted our invitation. It is only fitting that the commander of the only active duty military installation in the metropolitan area will act as our reviewing officer,” Aalbue said.
DeAngelis said the parade has been drawing larger crowds of spectators in recent years. “The last few years the crowds have gotten larger. We need to get a lot more people to participate and we need to increase the number of bands we invite to march, so we can give the people along the route something to remember,” he said.
Giovinco, a Vietnam veteran, said he would like to hear from younger veterans, “especially our most recent troops from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars,” he said.
A band from Michigan will be marching in this year’s parade. The Marching Knights of Lahser High School from Bloomfield, Michigan will march and play during the ceremony in the park.
Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in the nation's wars.