By Tab Hauser
Sunny skies and high temperatures started the unofficial start to summer with the annual Glen Cove Memorial Day Parade. To honor the fallen soldiers, a quiet and somber service was first held at the WWI monument by the Glen Cove Library, led by VFW James Donohue Post 347 Commander Joe Lavery.
“As long as there are two comrades who survive, so will the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, to render tribute to our heroic dead,” said Lavery.
A wreath was laid and an honor guard fired a salute.
The main memorial service took place 30 minutes later at Monument Park on Brewster Street, where Retired WWII Vet, U.S. Army Air Corp. Sgt. John Middleton emceed the event.
The service started with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a benediction from Father Gabriel Rachi. Mayor Reggie Spinello spoke to the families and soldiers circled around the park, noting how nearly one million men and women have died since the American Revolution through today’s war on terrorism.
“An anonymous voice once said, ‘thank you for the deed you did…Thank you for keeping us safe from all our troubles.’ It is because of all soldiers that we are living a peaceful life,” said Spinello.
The mayor then paid a special tribute to Glen Cove’s Donald J. Albin, who was Glen Cove’s honoree 10 years ago and died just a week earlier, on May 18. He mentioned “Donny” was a Vietnam vet in the Marines, the Army and Special Forces who was awarded a purple heart and it was fitting he was laid to rest over the Memorial Day weekend.
The mayor finished by acknowledging the parade committee, VFW James Donohue Post 347, American Legion Post 76 and American Legion Young-Simmons Post 1765, along with the
Marines who attended and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He also thanked Middleton and this year’s honoree, Colonel (Ret.) Anthony J. Anzalone.
Anzalone, who spent 28 years in the military, gave a very moving speech, even weeping at times.
“Taps” was played and a 21-gun salute followed. This year, the cannon was not fired, in reverence to Albin, who was a cannoneer on the squad. Instead, the cannon was covered in a shroud and Albin’s uniform.
After the service to the nation’s fallen, Glen Cove showed off its best with a parade that had marchers from many different organizations.