Tradition marches on: Local Independence Day event celebrates 112th year • Brooklyn Paper

Tradition marches on: Local Independence Day event celebrates 112th year

Family outing: (From left) Frank Shepard, holding son Aly, John McLaughlin, Ro McLaughlin, and Kate McLaughlin brought their patriotic spirit to the 112th annual Independence Day parade hosted by a local Knights of Columbus chapter on June 24.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

This parade never gets old!

Patriotic Brooklynites swarmed a 15-block stretch of Court Street to watch military veterans, community group members, and musicians march by as part of a local organization’s 112th annual Independence Day parade on June 24, but the most captivating procession participants passed on wheels, not legs, according to attendees.

“My son really enjoyed the parade because it had a lot of vintage cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles,” said Frank Shephard, of Red Hook, who attended the event with his family.

A line-up that included marching bands, bagpipers, color guards, Boy and Girl Scout troops, and decorated veterans joined the hot wheels in the parade, which was hosted by Brooklyn’s Knights of Columbus Long Island Assembly 703 and snaked from St. Paul’s Church, on Court Street near Bergen Street, to St. Mary Star of the Sea, on Court Street near Luquer Street.

This year’s procession honored one of the local Knights chapter’s fallen members, Steven McDonald, a former New York Police Department Detective whose wife was on hand to accept an award on his behalf.

And McDonald’s son, NYPD Sargent Conor McDonald, led the parade — New York City’s oldest annual Fourth of July march — whose participants and spectators showed an inspiring American spirit, according to the event’s spokesman.

“It’s inspiring to see people going down Court Street carrying big American flags, and to see children with small American flags on the sidewalks,” said Ted General. “It reminds people what the country is all about.”

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