UTICA, May 28, 2013 – Utica's Memorial Day Parade honored World War II veterans as grand marshals.
It also served as a tribute to the ultimate sacrifice, as a horse-drawn carriage carrying a flag-draped casket led the array of color guards, marching bands, vehicles, floats and marchers.
Three members of the Air Force, Army and Marines escorted the horse-drawn carriage.
The parade stepped off at 2 p.m. from Oneida Square on May 27 and continued up Genesee Street to Memorial Parkway.
Also leading the parade were Utica Police and Fire Department color guards. The grand marshals came next, along with other World War II vets, Gold Star Mothers and Fathers, and political dignitaries. Grand marshals included: Stan Bogdan, Dan Pielock, Al “Mutz” D’Acurrizo, Joseph Ducato, Al Circelli, Phil Capraro, Frank Zammillio, Louis Barile, Joseph Rositano, John Scarfo, Joseph Flint, Sam Simbari, John Popeo, and Dick Dote. Most of them got to ride in Army National Guard vehicles.
Several bands entertained the crowds to marching and patriotic tunes, including the Proctor High School Band, the Donovan JFK Middle School Band, and La Banda Rose (the Red Band).
- Utica Fire Department vehicles.
- 107th Infantry Company, U.S. Army National Guard.
- Retired Col. Gary Howard and Retired SFC Tim Morrell, U.S. Army Chaplains Corps.
- Central New York Veterans Outreach Center.
- Utica Post 229 Color Guard.
- Provost Post 1686.
- Oneida County Sheriff Color Guard.
- Law enforcement vehicles from Utica and Oneida County.
- Oneida Indian National Police Department.
- Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 490.
- Vietnam Veterans of America, Utica Chapter 944 Color Guard.
- Masonic War Vets Post 55.
- Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV), Walter Skiba Post 20, and Auxiliary.
- Disable American Veterans (DAV).
- POW/MIA float.
- Marine Corps League Color Guard and vehicles.
- Other veterans organizations.
- Proctor High School Naval JROTC cadets (who carried flags of the nations where their families came from and pictures of veterans killed in action).
- Knights of Columbus Color Guard.
- Notre Dame High School Naval JROTC.
- Karate USA students.
- Fort Schuyler Society/National Society of Children of the American Revolution.
- Boy Scouts of America, Troop 111.
- Utica AYSO Soccer.
- The American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley.
- Rescue Me K9 Rescue.
- The Shriners/Ziyara Zanies Motor Clowns.
- Deerfield Fire Department.
- New York Mills Fire Department.
- Centro Bus.
The Memorial Day Parade Committee includes:
- Chairman Mark Williamson, Utica Post 228 and Master Chief, Proctor High NJROTC.
- Utica Urban Renewal Marketing Director Gene Allen.
- Parade Coordinator Carl Yeomans - Amvets Post 6001
- Secretary/Treasurer Joe Fraccola - CNY Chapter 490, M.O.P.H.
- Stash Babiarz - Veterans Helping Veterans
- John Ryan - Oneida County Voiture 92 - 40 & 8
- Chris Urban - American Legion Utica Post 229
- Vince Zaleski - Utica Post 229
- Jim George - Utica Post 229
- Jeff Badger - Utica Post 229
- Stan Bogdan - Walter Skiba Post 20 P.L.A.V.
- Dan Pieloch - Walter Skiba Post 20 P.L.A.V.
- Tom Buono - Vietnam Veterans Of America (VVA) Chapter 944
- Larry Badger - VVA Chapter 944 / Purple Heart Chapter 490