Mort Zimmerman, a longtime Great Neck resident who served in the United States Army during World War II, was named grand marshal of the 94th Annual Great Neck Memorial Day Parade, which will be held on Monday, May 28.
Since 1924, the Great Neck Memorial Day Parade has been a celebrated tradition on the peninsula, during which elected officials and local community groups join veterans from all branches of the U.S. military to march down Middle Neck Road—from Susquehanna Avenue to the Village Green—while friends and families line the parade route to pay tribute to their service.
As grand marshal, Zimmerman will be acknowledged for his military service.
“Being named grand marshal of the Memorial Day Parade is a great personal honor for both my family and me. I sincerely thank the Parade Committee for this privilege,” said Zimmerman. “As the parade date approaches, I am mindful of the men and women who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. Their service exemplifies the best in our country and deserves all of our gratitude.”
Zimmerman, who has been a Great Neck resident for more than 50 years, enlisted in the military on March 22, 1943, and served until Dec. 22, 1945—achieving the rank of corporal. During that time, he was placed in the first and only European Civil Affairs Regiment, where he served in England, France, Belgium and Germany during World War II. The regiment was responsible for overseeing cities controlled by the Allies. The regiment was often under attack and its work was essential in providing relief and assistance to war refugees.
After his military service, Zimmerman graduated from Baruch College and received an MBA from New York University. He then went on to become an accomplished CPA, who served as the treasurer of Russ Togs, Inc., for more than 20 years.
Since moving to Great Neck in 1964, Zimmerman has been involved in numerous community programs and organizations to help enhance the local community. He was president of Temple Emanuel of Great Neck, where he remains very active.
“As a veteran who served valiantly throughout Europe during World War II and as a resident of Great Neck for more than half of a century, Mr. Zimmerman truly embodies the spirit of the Annual Great Neck Memorial Day Parade,” said Great Neck Parade Committee Chair Louise M. McCann. “The true meaning of Memorial Day is to honor members of the United States military who fought to protect the freedoms that we, as Americans, enjoy every day. We are thrilled to honor him as this year’s grand marshal and recognize his service.”
Zimmerman and his late wife, Annette, raised their two sons, Robert and John, on the peninsula. Both are Great Neck North High School alumni. John, a cardiologist at Hackensack University Medical Center, is married to Ellen Hirsch Zimmerman. The couple has three children, Ben who’s married to Anna Ellis, Sam and Greg. Robert is the president and cofounder of Zimmerman/Edelson, Inc., Long Island’s leading public relations and marketing firm, which is located in the heart of Great Neck Plaza.
The parade and ceremonies will be held rain or shine beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the corner of South Middle Neck Road and Susquehanna Avenue. The festivities will be led under the auspices of the Gilliar-Norwill Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #372; Charles A. Fowler, Jr., American Legion Post #160; United States Merchant Marine Academy; Alert Engine, Hook, Ladder and Hose Co. #1, Inc.; Vigilant Engine and Hook and Ladder Co., Inc.; and U.S. Coast Guard Station, Kings Point.
U.S. military veterans from the Great Neck area are encouraged to participate in the parade and ride in a lead car at the head of the parade. All attending veterans will be given a place of honor with special seating on the Village Green. To reserve a seat for a veteran or to register a group, contact Suzette Gray at email@example.com.
Learn more about the parade here.