By Stephen E. Lipken
The Town of Pelham and American Legion Post 50 hosted the annual Memorial Day Parade on May 27th with marchers from the Rotary Club; Pelham Memorial High School Band; U.S. Navy crew from guided missile cruiser U.S.S. Hue City; Boy and Girl Scout Troops; Police Emerald Society Bagpipe Band; plus Police and Fire Units from the Town, Village of Pelham and Pelham Manor.
The parade travelled from the Esplanade to Wolfs Lane and then downtown Pelham.
Parade Grand Marshall was Town Supervisor Peter DiPaola, retiring after a long political career spanning the Town and Pelham Manor. “I feel a host of emotions standing before you as this year’s Grand Marshall,” DiPaola stated. “I feel humbled to have such an honor bestowed upon me and pride in what the military men and women of our nation (including those with us as well as those, sadly, no longer with us) have accomplished.”
Other dignitaries included State Senator Alessandra Biaggi; Legislator Terry Clements; Town Justice John DeChiaro; Pelham Town Board; Village of Pelham Mayor Chance Mullen, Pelham Manor Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey.
Lapey spoke reverently about her father who was an Army Reservist and grandfather, “who was a physician on World War II lines—unarmed.”
Keynote Speaker Bob Shepherd was introduced by Past A.L. Post 50 Commander Joseph Durnin. A native of Scotland, Shepherd joined the British army at 17 and was accepted for Special Air Service Tier I. Shepherd saw action in the Dhofar Campaign; Iranian Embassy siege in London; Falklands War and Bosnia.
In the Honor Salute, 87 Pelham residents’ names were read who died from the Spanish American War to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Musical tributes were rendered by PMHS Senior Jack Hopkins, who sang America the Beautiful and Star-Spangled Banner, concluding with the Pelham Larks singing God Bless America.