‘We live in a community that cares’

Warwick. The 2021 Veterans Day parade and ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park.

| 15 Nov 2021 | 04:50

On Thursday, Nov. 11, a parade down Main Street culminating in ceremonies at Veterans Memorial Park began at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the official time of the World War I Armistice.

One hundred and three years ago, in 1918, after a long and bloody struggle, the Armistice was signed ending the hostilities. But what was celebrated each year as “Armistice Day” was renamed “Veterans Day” in 1954.

A huge crowd including members of the Boy and Girl Scouts, their junior components scout leaders and parents along with local citizens gathered at Veterans Memorial Park to honor veterans.

Members of the Warwick Police Department, the Warwick Fire Department and the Volunteer Ambulance Corps also participated with veteran members of VFW Post 4662 and American Legion Post 214.

VFW Post Commander John Jose Morales led the parade and then opened the official ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem sung by The Meistersingers.

An invocation by U.S. Navy pilot and Korean War Veteran Don Gremier followed.

Commander Morales then introduced guest speakers, including State Sen. Mike Martucci, Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Mayor Michael Newhard, Town of Warwick Justice Peter Barlet, Village Justice Jeanine Wadeson and American Legion Post 214 past Commander Walt Parkinson.

Sweeton mentioned the freedoms American citizens enjoy today and have preserved as a result of sacrifices made by our veterans.

Other guest speakers described the sacrifices of veterans in their own families and both Barlet and Parkinson mentioned there were also other ways besides military service to serve the country.

“We live in a community that cares,” said Mayor Newhard. “Over the past week there have been events, breakfasts, visits to schools, flags are flown, green lights are displayed, the parade route swept. It heartens me, inspires me, to know that this is because we have a deep respect and clear understanding that without the long line of veterans, we would not be standing here today.”

Perhaps the oldest World War II veteran present at the event, Warren C. Mc Farland, 97, also served as the Village of Warwick Police Chief until his retirement in 1978.

Following the Veterans Day ceremonies he posed for photos with Chief Thomas McGovern, Lt. John Rader and other officers of the Warwick Police Department.