A long-standing tradition continued in Hicksville and other communities in the United States of America is organizing a Memorial Day Parade to honor the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the country’s freedom and democracy. The 2022 Memorial Day Parade in Hicksville was hosted by the American Legion Charles Wagner Post 421.
The parade started at 9 a.m., stepping of from the Sears Parking lot and eventually ending up at the Middle School Veterans’ Memorial Park.
The marching groups were representing numerous Hicksville community organizations such as veterans, churches, schools, the Hicksville Fire Department, the Hicksville Gregory Museum, the Hicksville Historical Society, the Hicksville Gardens Civic Association, the Hicksville American Soccer Club, the Hicksville Baseball Association, the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club, the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, the Knights of Columbus and the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club.
The elected officials in attendance included Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, New York State Assemblyman Michael Montesano and Nassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker.
The veterans groups in the parade were made up of the American Legion—Charles Wagner Post #421, the British War Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America —Nassau County Chapter #82 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars—William Gouse Post #3211.
The church groups in the parade were St. Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church, St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Holy Family Parish, Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Trinity Lutheran Church, Yale Presbyterian Church, Long Island Abundant Life Church, India Pentecostal Assembly, United Methodist Church.
The school groups in the parade, were the Hicksville High School Band, Hicksville Middle School Band, Burns Avenue Elementary School, Dutch Avenue Elementary School, East Street Elementary School, Lee Avenue Elementary School, Old County Road Elementary School and the Woodland Avenue Elementary School.
At the Middle School Memorial Park, the festivity was started by Master of Ceremonies and American Legion Commander Thomas Basacchi, who welcomed everyone and thanked all the participants, organizers and supporters.
The opening prayer was offered by Reverend Monsignor Thomas Costa, Rector at St. Pius Church in Lake Ronkonkoma. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the Parade Committee Chairman Gregory Faling from the American Legion.
Greetings for the event were offered by post commanders, elected officials and several honored guests. Walker was the principal speaker of the day.
Hicksville Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marianne Litzman introduced this year’s Hicksville High School speakers, Pratiksha Malayil and Alex Rosentein, who each read an essay emphasizing the efforts and hardship of the soldiers during wartime. Everyone enjoyed hearing “God Bless America,” performed by the Hicksville High School and Middle School Bands.
Many thanks should be credited to the organizing committee of the Memorial Day Parade, which was as follows: Thomas Basacchi—American Legion “Charles Wagner
Post #421”; Steve Bonam—Vietnam Veterans of America, Nassau County Chapter #82; Robert Chiappone—Military Order of the Purple Heart, Long Island Chapter #417;
Gregory Faling—American Legion—“Charles Wagner Post #421”; Richard Guevara—Vietnam Veterans of America—Nassau County Chapter #82; Tony Hartmann—Veterans of Foreign Wars, William Gouse Post #3211; Mary Noris—American Legion, “Charles Wagner Post #421”; Chris Parouse—British War Veterans of America.
The closing prayer was offered by the Reverend John Hopkins of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hicksville.
—Submitted by Hicksville Historical Society Past President Michael Christodoulou