Guyanese-born State Senator Roxanne Persaud, took part in Memorial Day observances by riding in the Annual Canarsie Memorial Day Parade alongside Grand Marshall, Major Marlene Heath of the U.S. Air Force, (of Jamaican heritage), and Grand Marshall, E4 Raymond Drew, a Purple Heart recipient.
The May 28 parade, which began at Holy Family Church on Flatlands Avenue, and moved along the streets and avenues of Canarsie, honored brave Americans who have sacrificed life and limb so that others can live in freedom today.
Veterans, 59 District Assemblemember Jamie Williams, Canarise District Leader, Sue-Ann Partnow, and community members, rode in vintage cars, while waving America Old Glory flags.
Bikers, the Decons of the Night, a Marching Band, Canarsie Lion’s Club, New York State Nurses Association, the Fire Service, a Military Service Dog and trainers, NYPD Commanding Officer, Captain Terrell Anderson, and members of the 69th Precinct, all paid tribute.
A wreath laying ceremony was held at a monument in Canarsie Cemetery on Remsen Avenue, where fallen heroes are buried.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New York’s 8th congressional district in Brooklyn and Queens, greeted marchers, and reminded them that Memorial Day was important to the community and city of New York, saying, “we honor the brave men and women who since the beginning of the Republic have paid the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the freedoms that we now enjoy in this great country.”
He thanked all the women and men who currently wear the uniform, or who once wore the uniform in “defense of our country, both here and abroad, against enemies all across the world in the fight to lift up democracy, lift up freedom, confront dictatorship, and evils that have afflicted this world since the founding of the republic.”
“We are thankful for those men and women from Canarsie, who are buried in this cemetery and who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and whose love for this country resulted in allowing us to enjoy freedom, that we will continue fighting for,” said Jeffries.
Sen. Persaud, who represents the 19th District, which includes portions of Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, and Bergen Beach, said, “It is her privilege to participate in this parade every year,” and praised the marshalls who joined her.
She said Memorial Day was not only about having fun, but a day to honor fallen heroes, and called on citizens to stand up and take a moment to say thank you to those who “made the sacrifice and paved the way for us.”
Assemblymember Jamie Williams said, “it is an honor to march in the parade to remember everyone who gave their lives for us. It is especially important that young people came out to walk in the parade,” and thanked those who continue to serve.
Sue Ann Partnow thanked, the men and women serving, and for the sacrifice they made so that all could enjoy freedom and democracy
“We celebrate our freedom and democracy, when my country is in the right, it should keep right, when in the wrong, make right of the things that are wrong,” said, Councilmember, Alan Maisel.”
State Committeewoman and District Leader, Melba Brown, praised veterans for their courage and sacrifice and asked that families of service members be supported.
“Our freedoms are being challenged everyday. Thank you for coming out as you continue to uplift our veterans,” said Brown.
Clergy Nathan Williams and a Canarsie Rabbi, prayed for the heroes, before taps were played, and the parade moved to Thomas Jefferson Club on Conklin Avenue, for an awards ceremony.