Sheepshead Bay celebrates Memorial Day early

Red, white, and blue: Isha Kashif, 6, of Sheepshead Bay marched in the Sheepshead Bay’s joint Armed Forces and Memorial Day parade on Emmons Avenue on May 19.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

More than 450 residents marched in the Sheepshead Bay-Plumb Beach Civic Association’s annual Memorial Day Parade on May 19, putting their civic pride on display in recognition of the neighborhood’s service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Marine Corps Color Guard, Knights of Columbus, Fort Hamilton High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, and Bishop Kearney High School marching band led the parade down Emmons Avenue from its starting point at Ocean Avenue 10 blocks away to the veterans memorial near Haring Street, where participants gathered for a flag-raising ceremony.

Parade organizer Tom Scalese said the turnout was the highest its been in several years.

“Everybody’s so patriotic here,” Scalese said. “We’re all together no matter who you are and where you’re from.”

State Sen. Marty Golden (R–Marine Park) and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D–Sheepshead Bay) were also on hand to help distribute prizes to students from PS 52 and St. Mark’s School, who won a Memorial Day-themed drawing competition.

Sheepshead Bay residents who’ve marched in the parade for decades said the event never gets old.

“The neighborhood’s been doing this a long time,” said Cliff Bruckenstein. “We’re proud of our heritage.”

The parade started during World War II, but participation lagged by the 1960s, when the Sheepshead Bay-Plumb Beach Civic Association took over the event, Scalese said. The event now draw several hundred residents each year.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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