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Huge Turnout for Plainview's Memorial Day Parade

Hundreds line the parade route; scores of community organizations and youth groups take part in annual tradition.

The diverse mosaic that is the Plainview community was on proud display Monday in Plainview's annual

Hundreds of people lined the traditional parade route along Old Country Road and Washington Avenue to cheer generations of Plainview residents in a celebration of freedom. But, at the solemn ceremony that followed at the , they honored the veterans who gave their lives to protect those rights.

"This is a day to remember those who made our country what it is today," said U.S. Army Major Christopher Pizzolo, the keynote speaker for the service. "This is why we are here: to the honor the memory of fallen heroes who gave everything for their country."

Plainview residents came out in force to do that. The marched in crisp white uniform shirts, the column led by Chief . The was there, along with the members of the

The covered the 1.8 mile route in their heavy marching uniforms; at the service, sang God Bless America as kindergartner's signed the words in American Sign Language.

Relgious institutions, youth leagues, local businesses, political leaders and charitable organizations all took part. The festive flag-filled atmosphere was All-Amercan, but the underlining meaning remained solemn.

"We are here for all veterans, but mostly for the ones that didn't return," said Howard Liebman, a highly decorated World War II veteran and grand marshall of this year's parade.

Three ceremonial shots were fired over the War Memorial monument in the park. A JFK bugler played "Taps." wreaths were laid at the base of the monument by children still too young to understand war.

In his benediction, the quoted from the Prophets Isaiah and Micah, of the day when "...'all of God's children shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.'

" 'When nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and when all of God's children will not learn war any more.' " said Olsen, pastor of

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