Montauk is set to observe Memorial Day more than it ever has before with a slew of events over three days, while sharing the hamlet Green on Sunday with an art show, a decision that sparked much debate earlier this year.
The Montauk Memorial Weekend Committee organized the third annual “Remembrance and Honor” weekend, which has grown considerably to include a free veterans dinner, parade, and ceremonies over three days.
Nonetheless, organizer Ken Walles said the weekend's events had to be scaled back due to the town board's decision, , to allow the , Friday through Sunday.
It remains to be seen how the service on the Green, after the parade on Sunday, will do with the art show taking place just a few feet away. Walles said he doesn't want to dwell on the past. "Whatever is done is done," he said. "This is family, this is community, this has the makings of being a great event," he said.
The events are as follows:
- at the Coast Guard Station Montauk on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Veterans' dinner partners are asked for a $20 per person donation for adults, $14 for children 10 and younger. Reservations are required. Call the .
- will take place on Sunday (as to not interfere with the East Hampton Memorial Day Parade on Monday) at noon. It begins at the Oceanside Beach Resort, heads east through the village, turning left on Edison and then past the post office to circle back to the Village Green. Speeches, singing, innovation will follow at the Green.
- On Memorial Day, “” will take place on the Village Green at 8 a.m. The flag will be raised and left at half-mast. A solemn service with prayer and speeches of recognition will follow.
- At sunset, 8 p.m., on Memorial Day, taps will be played and a flag will be retrieved. Afterwards, anyone having flags in need of will be burned in the appropriate manner.
On Saturday morning, over 100 American Flags will grace the Green's Memorial site, which will also be lit with battery-operated candles in the evening in remembrance of those who have served the country. They will be taken down by the start of Sunday afternoon's parade.
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The committee moved a 20-foot driftwood log from the beach to the Green's memorial site, left of the flagpole, which will serve as a natural base for the Military Divisional Flags. Walles said it all has to be taken down by Tuesday.
The Montauk Village Improvement Society is working on a plan to spruce up the memorial, which Walles asked be put off for more community input. "The Memorial Stone there is dedicated to World War II. I'd like to see equal size stones for Korea, World War I, Vietnam, all the wars," he said. "That has all the makings of a great centerpiece in town."
Walles said on Thursday that about 75 people are expected at the dinner on Saturday. The parade will include military vehicles, the Patriot Guard motorcycle group, the Red Knights, old fashioned cars, Ralph Lauren's 1944 an 1945 Jeeps, and many others.
The committee is made up former Assemblyman and veteran John Behan and his wife Marilyn Behan, Steve Akkala, Bob Black, Tom Bogdan, fomer East Hamton Town Justice Jim Ketcham, Bob Lamparter, Marine Patrol Chief Ed Michels, Coast Guard Station Montauk Chief Jason Walter and Walles.
"I'm looking forard with my meeting with the town board to discuss 2013," Walles said of the town board's promise to start to discuss the permits in November. Walles said a country western singer could possibly sing on the Green on Saturday night next year.