Hundreds gathered on Metropolitan Avenue to watch the annual Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade on Sunday. Bands, Boy and Girl scouts, and local residents marched with veterans and elected officials through the heart of Forest Hills.
The Memorial Day parade is a way for people to remember and give thanks to those who fought for the country, and helps keep the true meaning of the holiday alive in the neighborhood.
“We’ve got to remember over 500,000, almost 600,000, American men and women have died against oppression, and that’s what we’re here for today,” said former state senator, parade grand marshal, and veteran Serphin Maltese.
“The community is getting together and commemorating the veterans who died for the country,” said fellow grand marshal Melinda Katz. “I think it’s a great thing.”
Thomas Long, commander of the American Legion Continental Post 1424, agreed that the parade is necessary in keeping the legacy of fallen soldiers alive.
“I hope the community, the veterans, we all come together to honor those that have given their all,” Long said. “I think that is what we all should get from this.”
Robert E. O’Malley, a former Vietnam marine and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, has been marching in the parade for 18 years. Standing alongside fellow veteran Tom Hayes, the two looked forward to having a drink at the end for the friends they lost in battle.
“We tip a beer for them, because they can’t,” Hayes said.