OSSINING, N.Y. – Hundreds of Ossining’s military veterans are set to parade through the town Monday to honor and remember the 167 local veterans who died serving their country.
“We march to recognize all of the guys who served, whether they were in a war or not,” said Frank Faiella, commander of Ossining’s American Legion Post 506. “Anything we can do for them, we will do. These guys put their lives on the line for this country. So, for me, we’re walking in the parade for all the guys that didn’t make it, and the ones who did make it.”
Veterans, community and benevolent organizations, the Ossining School Board, the Ossining Fire Department and Police Department, the Ossining High School band, and local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops are all expected to march in the Memorial Day Parade. It's scheduled to step off at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Croton and Calem avenues. The parade is set to continue down Croton Avenue, Main Street, Washington Avenue, and wrap up at Nelson Park.
Michael O'Connor, Ossining's superintendent of highways and a Vietnam veteran, helps organize the Ossining Memorial Day Parade each year through work with Ossining's Committee of Organized War Veterans.
“I’m doing it for the list of names of our veterans that we read aloud, that go all the way back to the War of 1812,” O’Connor said. “Our World War II veterans who are no longer around taught me the importance of remembering those who served before you. It’s about Joe Carter, who fought on Omaha Beach on D-Day. It’s about Tony D’Agostino, who laid communications wire during World War II. I do it because they deserve for it to be right.”
The Central Committee of Organized War Veterans and other local veterans have spent the last few weeks remembering Ossining's veterans through various ceremonies. The committee and the Ossining Boat & Canoe Club hosted an event honoring fallen Naval and Marine Corps veterans last weekend. Sunday, American Legion members also adorned local military graves with star-spangled wreaths.
Following Monday’s parade, the American Legion Post 506 will host a celebration in honor of the Ossining community members who helped rebuild the local American Legion building at 58 South Highland Ave.
Faiella said it was as important to honor the citizens of Ossining who have shown respect to local veterans, as it is to honor the veterans themselves.
“In my heart, it means a lot to me that I’m a commander of a post that does so much for their veterans,” Faiella said. “We have so many people in this community who have helped us out, and who donated to us - to show them how much we appreciate their support.”