Marine Corps veteran and NYS Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) marched alongside fellow veterans service members and community members at two Memorial Day parades, with ceremonies held in Laurelton and Rosedale.
Memorial Day may mark the unofficial start of summer, but Senator Sanders reminded parade participants not to forget the true reason for the holiday - to honor those who have served our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country
“On Memorial Day we remember with solemn gratitude those who have given their lives for our freedom,” Sanders said. “As a Marine Corps veteran, it is especially important to me that we never forget the tremendous sacrifice our service members make every day to protect our American way of life.”
The Laurelton community lost many of its members to combat, and at the Laurelton Memorial Day Parade Sanders spoke of the fallen who gave their lives to uphold our rights and freedom. At the conclusion of the parade, a ceremony was held at the Veterans Memorial Triangle at 225th Street and North Conduit Avenue where the names of each of the fallen was read with a bell being chimed after the announcement of each one.
At the Rosedale Memorial Day Parade, Sanders presented Senate proclamations to its grand marshals - U.S. Army Combat Medic Derrick DeFlorimonte and President of the 149th Avenue Block Association, Joyce Lawrence, as well as parade leaders the Northeastern Conference Pathfinders Drum Corps.
Following the honors there was a wreath laying ceremony at the conclusion of the parade, which took place at the Veterans & Vietnam Memorial Monument on Francis Lewis Boulevard and Sunrise Highway.
At both parades, Senator Sanders expressed concern over President Trump's statements of escalating tensions with Iran and a possible war between that country and the United States.
"Real veterans want peace," Sanders said. "The closer you've been to war, the more you want peace. Americans should only fight when there are attacks on American interests. We should not sacrifice our treasure - the youth - to anything like a battle with Iran."