North Shore villages to host car parades, ceremonies for Memorial Day

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North Shore villages to host car parades, ceremonies for Memorial Day
Dr. Paul A. Hamlin will be the Grand Marshal of the Port Washington Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Henderson-Marino Post 1819 on Monday. (Photo courtesy of Debbie Tedeschi)

Car parades and socially distant events headline the slate of Memorial Day ceremonies to be held on the North Shore.

Port Washington’s American Legion Post 509 announced that it will hold a parade on Memorial Day, Monday, at 10 a.m. The parade will include Post 509, the VFW Henderson-Marino Post 1819, the Port Washington Fire Department, the Port Washington Police Department and the Sands Point Police Department, according to Douglas W. Weston, commander of Post 509.

The parade will begin at the corner of Campus Drive and Port Washington and will end at the John Philip Sousa Memorial Bandshell on Main Street, where a ceremony will occur at 11 a.m.

The parade’s grand marshal is Dr. Paul A. Hamlin, a decorated Vietnam veteran and retired medical doctor. In 1968, after Hamlin completed his medical internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital, he enlisted in the Air Force.

From August 1968 to July 1969, Hamlin served as a general medical officer and chief of pharmacy service at Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star for his leadership and devotion to duty.

“Captain Hamlin demonstrated outstanding professional skill, remarkable knowledge and a calm assuredness in his numerous contributions to the improvement of the health and welfare of the base military population,” Hamlin’s citation stated. “Following hostile attacks, he contributed immeasurably to the smooth handling and disposition of casualties, reflecting great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”

In 1969, he returned to this country and finished his military tour at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. A year later, he resumed his medical education at New York Medical College and Metropolitan Hospital as a resident and chief resident with a subspeciality in pulmonology. He went on to have a private group practice in Great Neck for 45 years. He was also an attending physician at North Shore University Hospital.

Hamlin and his wife, Jane, have been married for 54 years, with two children and five grandchildren.

The Village of Floral Park will host a car parade starting at Village Hall at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, followed by a ceremony at Veteran’s Memorial Park at 21 Floral Parkway at 11:15 a.m.  The ceremony will include the national anthem, a presentation of wreaths to honor the fallen, a roll call of village residents who died while serving in the armed forces, and a presentation of bouquets to Gold Star families. 

The Village of New Hyde Park will host a car parade on Saturday, starting on the southbound lane of Hillside Boulevard. The parade will start at 9:30 a.m., with cars traveling to  Village Hall at 10 a.m. for a wreath-laying ceremony. The parade will then proceed to Memorial Park for a full ceremony scheduled to start at 11 a.m.

The village encouraged residents to join the car parade and ceremony.

The Williston Park American Legion Post 144 will host a parade starting at the Legion’s 730 Willis Ave. building at 9 a.m. The Village of East Williston will host a ceremony at noon at the Village Green. The event will feature the national anthem, wreath presentations, a military salute, mayor’s awards, race awards and the playing of taps.

The Town of North Hempstead will commemorate Memorial Day with a drive-in fireworks event at North Hempstead Beach Park on Saturday at 9 p.m.

While the coronavirus pandemic caused the town to postpone any in-person events last year, this year  restrictions have been eased on how the public can honor those who lost their lives while serving in the military. North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth said town officials are eager to host an event with people physically in attendance, although they will  remain in their vehicles.

“The Town is excited to continue this tradition for the North Hempstead community,” Bosworth said. “We look forward to everyone coming together on Memorial Day Weekend as we kick off the unofficial start of summer and also reflect on the supreme sacrifices made by the brave men and women in the armed forces.” 

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Officials said each vehicle will be required to pay a $10 entry fee at North Hempstead Beach Park. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m., with the fireworks event kicking off promptly at 9 p.m. The fireworks, produced by Santore’s World Famous Fireworks, will be synced to music broadcast through the car radio.

The event will admit only North Hempstead residents, with capacity being limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Officials said residents are encouraged to bring nonperishable and canned goods as part of the town’s ongoing donation drive. 

Registration is not required. Residents can contact the town for more information by calling 311 or 516-869-6311.

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