Brooklyn Boro

Solemn Memorial Day service hosted in John Paul Jones Park

June 2, 2021 Ted General
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Following the Brooklyn Memorial Day Motorcade and a brief wreath laying ceremony on the grounds of the Brooklyn VA Hospital in Dyker Heights, the United Military Veterans of Kings County held its 154th Memorial Service and Program in Bay Ridge’s John Paul Jones Park (aka Cannonball Park) on Monday afternoon, May 31.

The event was held near the Park’s 70-foot flagpole which was actually a steel mast from the World War II Navy Destroyer USS Daniel, and the Vietnam Memorial stone monument.

Related: Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade, one of the nation’s oldest, returns

With most of the dreary day being overcast and soggy, the sky turned sunny and bright just before 1 p.m start of the somber ceremonies. Chairman Ray Aalbue, an US Air Force veteran opened the proceedings with the Presentation of the Colors by the Fort Hamilton Army Junior ROTC Color Guard, followed by the National Anthem sung by Actress Josette D’Ambrosi, also a professional dancer and former USO performer.

21-gun salute by Joint Military Task Force. Photo by Ted General

Army veteran Connie Ranocchia, President of the United Military Veterans led the guests and attendees with the Pledge of Allegiance. VA Chaplain Charles Hall gave the Invocation and Chaplain Colonel Edward Kane gave the Benediction. Veteran Service organizations placed the wreaths while Bagpipers Tom Haggerty and Tom Alverson played Amazing Grace. A Joint Task Force Rifle Squad fired a 21 Gun salute and Lukus Kelk, a Fort Hamilton High School senior played TAPS.

2021 Grand Marshal WWII Army Veteran Dave Vogel with Korean Army Veteran Peter DeAnglis. Photo by Ted General

Fort Hamilton US Army Garrison Commander Colonel Craig Martin was the Reviewing Officer and wheelchair- bound World War II Army veteran Dave Vogel served as the 2021 motorcade and Memorial Service Grand Marshal.

4615 Reviewing Officer Colonel Craig Martin addressing the crowd next to Chaplain Colonel Edward Kane. Photo by Ted General

Among luminaries in attendance were State Senator Andrew Gounardes, City Councilman Justine Brannan, Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus, Kings County Conservative Party Chairman Fran Vella-Marone, City Council Candidates Eric Frankel and Brian Fox, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, Brooklyn Borough President Candidate and Mayoral Candidate Kathyrn Garcia.

Group photo with Program Chairman Ray Aalbue and Fort Hamilton Garrison Commander Colonel Craig Martin. Photo by Ted General

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