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Bedford Stuyvesant Holds First Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 28, 2012

An American flag. An American flag. (bloomgal/flickr)

Bedford Stuyvesant is holding its first veterans’ Memorial Day Parade Monday where a granite veterans' memorial will be unveiled.

Job Mashariki, founder of parade sponsor Black Veterans for Social Justice and member of the state Senate’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame, will be its grand marshal. He grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant and has spent 31 years reaching out to veterans, their families and the community.

The group’s current president and CEO, Wendy McClinton, said she hopes the parade will also spark a conversation about what returning veterans need when they come home.

"Every day, another one comes home with the remnants of a TBI, a traumatic brain injury, or post-traumatic stress disorder from being in a combat area situation. How do we deal with that?” she said. “We need to talk about the services that they need.”

McClinton said her non-profit organization will also be releasing a position paper Monday that outlines the best ways to help returning veterans readjust to civilian life.

The parade starts at 12 p.m. at 1360 Fulton Street.

The memorial will be unveiled at 2 p.m. at the headquarters of Black Veterans for Social Justice at 665 Willoughby Avenue.

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Comments [3]

Al Edmomndson from Columbus,Ohio

It was great to see this!!! Congrats on your event!!In columbus ohio- King
/Lincoln district we also celebrated veterans in our community memorial weekend!! We had VA Benfits and VA employement services for the event to help the vets. Keep up the great work!!

Jun. 02 2012 08:27 AM

Dear John from Huntington:
Your comment really startled me. When was the last time you were in Bed-Sty? Until 2009, I lived in a neighboring community, East New York, which like Bed-Sty despite the beginnings of gentrification, is 99% African American and Afro Carribean. What you interpret as "race-based" is nothing more than a community like any other celebrating its' war dead and wounded. Like you, I live on Long Island and we have our parades and monuments and they reflect our "complexion", White American. I know of no military statue on Long Island whose face is of an African American and if there is one it is a true minority. Other than communities like Hempstead, Uniondale, Roosevelt, Brentwood and Wyandanch, our communities are all most exclusively white so our parades can also be referred to as "race-based". We do not exclude other races and nor does such a parade in Bed-Sty. It is simply a reflection of the community.

In addition, your comment ignores the disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic volunteers in our military particularily in the last ten years.
They deserve specific recognition particularily since they remain less-than citizens in most parts of this country.

Please believe that my comments are not meant to belittle your feelings but to rather illuminate how all communities reflect the race of their population. If we were truly intergrated there would be no reason for your offense.

Sincerely, your white Long Island neighbor, Fay Ryan

May. 28 2012 01:07 PM
John Roscoe from Huntington

I am so offended that this group should organize a race-based Memorial Day commeration, this is wrong.

May. 28 2012 11:08 AM

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