Some wore their uniform, some waved the American flag and some simply donned red, white and blue, but they all came out to support those servicemen and women who sacrificed for the country.
“As a veteran myself, I think it’s important for people to show up and appreciate the people who have laid their lives down for our civil liberty,” said Community Board 6 chairman Joe Hennessy. “The parade’s support has had a problem with deterioration in the past, but no matter what, there’s still a solid nucleus of people who come out to support it.”
Jeff Hayes, president of the Forest Hills Kiwanis, said the parade is larger than he’s seen in a decade. He added that the parade also featured more community representation this year.
Some of the parade’s participants included the Forest Hills Asian Association, the Queens Community House, the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Forest Hills-Rego Park CERT, Christ the King High School Marching Band, P.S. 101, Girl Scouts, Franklin K. Lane High School and the FDNY.
Parade goers ranged from infants to those in their mid-80s. Neighbors from various blocks, such as those on 70th Road, joined each other in clusters along the parade route, suggesting that the family-friendly event was a neighborhood tradition.
Local businesses supported the event by offering free food and specials to those in attendance. Aigner’s Chocolates offered a 15 percent discount, while Nick’s Bistro offered brunch and gave out refreshments outside the restaurant.
TD Bank handed out candy, while Tazzina cooked hot dogs served with fresh-squeezed lemonade.
“It is like a small-town event and we want to show support,” said Lisa Rees, a resident who attended the event with her family and two other families. “We want to give a tribute and memory to the veterans. It’s a charming event that we come to every year.”