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Montauk Proudly Displays Patriotism

Organizers thank community for supporting new events.

The were bigger than they've ever been before and the organizers said the weekend was a success.

Main Street was lined with people, young and old, waving American flags and cheering on the parade as it went from the to the Green on Sunday afternoon.

While parking was at even more than a premium in downtown Montauk, the sharing of the Green with the Montauk Artist Association show went smoothly. When the parade concluded, a ceremony took place at the Memorial site under the flagpole on the Green.

Montauk resident and former State Assemblyman John Behan, who lost his legs during Vietnam, said he was proud of the support the community had shown. "Being a patriot, being a veteran, being an American — it would be a shame on all of us if we didn't remember the fallen on Memorial Day weekend in Montauk," he said. Behan, who helped organize the events, also said he was thankful for the support "from all the ."

There had been much debate this winter about whether Memorial Day observances should have to share the Green, which has a Memorial site, with the fifth-anual art show, where vendors sell paintings, jewelry, and photographs. In the end, the , while carving out the Memorial section of the Green for the memorial. 

Ken Walles, the main force being the weekend's events, said about 200 had attended a fish n'chips dinner for veterans at the on Saturday night.

The parade, which featured veterans, the Patriot Guard, the , and the boy scouts carrying a giant American Flag, was dedicated to the memory of Skip Cannon of Montauk, who served in the Korean War.

Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, an Army veteran, said the parade had marchers who served in every war from World War II to the war in Afghanistan. "I look around and see people in the audience who have sons and daughters in the military right now," he told the crowd.

Behan said the families of those who died in battle deserve to be remember on Memorial Day, as well.

Behan's wife Marilyn Behan spoke about what it means to be a patriot. "If you stand with our veterans today, stand proud. Wear your patriotism proud everyday."

Montauk resident Lisa Grenci also read a history of Montauk's connection to every war America has been involved in starting with The Pequot War in Connecticut between the Pequot Indians and the settlers of the Pilgrim Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In addition to the singing of the National Anthem, a choir performed and read a poem, "In Flanders Field."

The weekend observances will end with in the proper manner on Monday night at the Green around 8 p.m.

Paul Monte May 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Terrific parade and observances for Memorial Day in Montauk. Kudos to Ken Walles and the group who organized everything. Happy to see that there was plenty of room for everyone to share the green in a cooperative and respectful manner. Much can be accomplished when people work together for the common good. God bless America and our beautiful little Montauk!

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