Nation’s Oldest Memorial Day Parade Here on May 30

May 24, 2022 Theodore General
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When Brooklyn’s 155th Memorial Day Parade kicks off in Bay Ridge on May 30, it will continue to hold the distinction of the oldest, continuous large city Memorial Day Parade in the Nation.  The first parade was held in 1867, on Eastern Parkway when Brooklyn was an independent City, and then the 4th largest city in America.

The parade was also moved to Prospect Park West for several years. Then in 1985, parade officials decided to move the march to Bay Ridge where the parade route and reviewing stand would be closer to the Fort Hamilton Army Base, and John Paul Jones Park.  This is where the post parade memorial service has been held for more than three decades.

Fort Hamilton High School Army Junior ROTC Cadets and Marching Band. Eagle Urban Media file photo

Originally known as the Decoration Day Parade, by an act by Congress it was changed to Memorial Day in 1971. Past parades were hosted by the Veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic, and then the United War Veterans of Kings County.  It is  currently run by the succeeding organization, the United Military Veterans of Kings County which is chaired by Air Force veteran Ray Aalbue and parade president Army veteran Connie Ranocchia.

When the parade steps off at 11 a.m. from 78th Street and Third Avenue, the lead music contingent will be the NYC All City Marching Band which is composed of public high school students from all 5 boroughs.

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