After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Great Neck was able to host its 96th annual Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony. On Monday, May 30, it began at 9:30 a.m. on Susquehanna Avenue, proceeded down Middle Neck Road, and ended at the Village Green. The closing ceremonies of the parade were held at All Saints Church.
According to the Memorial Day Parade brochure, “this year’s parade [was] dedicated to those members of America’s Greatest Generation who we lost this year, Judge Jack Weinstein, who attended the parade for more than 50 years and William A. Shine, the former Great Neck Schools Superintendent.”
This year, the parade was sponsored by the Great Neck American Legion Post 160. In addition, the Parade Committee acknowledged generous donations from the following businesses and organizations; Temple Beth Israel of Great Neck, Young Israel of Great Neck, the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Michael Rowles from Pack 178, the Village of Great Neck Estates, St. Paul AME Zion Church and Nancy Cheatham.
The residents of Great Neck were excited to witness the Memorial Day Parade after two years of postponing the parade. The Parade Committee was equally excited to organize the parade and had many local organizations join the parade to march.
“It was a great turnout,” said Parade Committee member Dr. Karyn Phillips. “It was very nice to see all the people come back out to witness the parade and show support.”
“Unfortunately, this year, we did not have a Grand Marshall,” said Dr. Phillips. “But we’re working on it already for next year; we have two people in mind as of now.”
Although there wasn’t a Grand Marshal to honor as the leader of the parade, the Great Neck Memorial Parade had more than enough people, veterans and local organizations marching.
Multiple Great Neck Fire Companies and emergency vehicles were in the parade. The U.S Merchant Marine Acadamy Band, Plebe Class and EMS unit marched proudly in the parade.
Others who marched in the parade include; The Great Neck Park District, All Saints Church, North Shore University Hospital, St. Paul’s AME Zion Church, People’s Ministry OutReach, Great Neck Community School, Temple Beth El, Great Neck Association of Girl Scouts, Boy Scout Troop 10, Cub Scout Pack 178, St. Aloysius Church, the Great Neck PAL, the Great Neck Chinese Association, the Great Neck Synagogue, Young Israel of Great Neck and the United Mashadi Jewish Community.
Long-time member of Temple Beth El of Great Neck Howard Herman marched in the parade along side about 15 other members of the Temple Beth El Brotherhood. Herman has been participating in the parade for close to 40 years now.
“It was a great day and the town was very well represented by a large number of groups,” said Herman. “And the ceremonies at the end of the parade were beautiful.”
Temple Beth El was the first synagogue in Great Neck, founded in 1928. Now, Great Neck has dozens of synagogues and Jewish community centers.
“The Brotherhood of Temple Beth El was the first Jewish group to march in the parade,” said Herman. “Every year the Brotherhood is proud to march in the parade.”