At the crossroads of Bellport Lane and Bell Street, the spirits of celebration and remembrance came together at the Bellport Village Memorial Day parade to pay tribute to those that died serving our country.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May to remember and honor those that died while serving in the U.S military. To ensure that the sacrifice of those that served and died is never forgotten, Bellport Village hosts an annual Memorial Day parade organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8300. This year, the parade began at 11 a.m. at the Village Green and proceeded north on Station Road to Woodland Cemetery.
The enthusiasm of the greater Bellport Village community was palpable as attendees packed the sidewalks of Bellport Lane and Station Road to cheer on the organizations part of the parade. These groups included VFW Post 8300 and members of the Bellport, Brookhaven, and Hagerman fire departments. Joining in on the tributary proceedings were Girl Scout troops 3118,1362, and 1990, South Country Little League, Bellport Youth Lacrosse, and harmonious performances by Bellport High School and middle school bands.
Following the procession, attendees gathered at Woodland Cemetery for a commencement ceremony hosted by VFW Post 8300.
“Here on Memorial Day, we give all Americans the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices from those who gave their lives in military service, to give us the opportunity to live in a free and great country,” said Bellport Village mayor Ray Fell, reminding the crowd of the holiday’s significance.
During the presentation of the wreaths, the monument in the cemetery was garnished with wreaths to pay tribute to the courage and patriotism of the deceased.
VFW Post 8300 commander Pasquale Marra ended the ceremony with a call for celebration on behalf of those he served with that are no longer with us.
“On this Memorial Day, this is what they would want: for us to leave, go hang out with our friends and family, to go fire up the barbecue, have some cold beverages, and remember them and those that fought for this country and died, paying the ultimate sacrifice,” he said, addressing the crowd.
As Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, attendees departed to take the commander’s advice, moving forward with reverence for the heroic dead in their hearts.
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