HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Hastings-On-Hudson Memorial Day parade was able to honor those who serve the country face to face this year as Marines, sailors and cadets marched in the annual observance on Sunday.
“I just wish everybody in America could see what was going on here today,” said U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, whose congressional disrict includes Hastings. ”In the United States of America we have freedoms that really no other countries have and despite all the problems we know we have and we all complain about them from time to time, which one of us would want to live any place else in the entire world?”
Hastings Mayor Peter Swiderski proclaimed May 27 to June 2 as U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Week in the village. The dozens of Marines, sailors and cadets lined up in the heart of the downtown to listen as local officials and veterans spoke to the crowd and offered their support.
“Nowhere in history has there been a country before ours that has given so much to ensure freedom for others,” said Col. Tim Tillson, who grew up in Hastings and whose son Michael is serving in Afghanistan. “Sacrifices are meaningless without remembrance.”
Rear Admiral Townsend Alexander, commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, led the Marines, sailors and cadets in the parade and spoke about the honor afterwards.
“We will always remember our day here,” he said. “I will tell you as someone who’s been in the Navy for a few years, the very best part about my job is the ability to serve with the fine men and women we have right here.”