Despite the city's financial woes, the Memorial Day Parade is fully funded and will take place as scheduled May 28 beginning at 10:30 a.m. with a brief ceremony at Memorial Plaza, followed immediately by the parade. Patch caught up with organizer Peter Parente while he was working on getting the floats ready for the parade.
Name: Peter Parente
Occupation: Soundview Service Center Gas & Auto Repair, a family owned business in Mamaroneck and Old Greenwich, CT, with brothers Ralph and Joseph
Family: Wife Jennifer and 6-1/2-year-old son Peter Michael Jr.
Q: How long have you been a New Rochelle resident?
A: Born and raised, 44+ years.
Q: Why is it important to have the Memorial Day parade?
A: It gives New Rochelle an opportunity to show their appreciation and support of our troops. Our military is 100 percent volunteer—that's amazing!
Q: What feelings do you have when you participate in the ceremony and the parade?
A: Great pride, because I represent all those Veterans who could not be there, alive or passed on. They all deserve our thanks.
Q: How many people volunteer to work on the parade?
A: Months prior, up to a dozen. We start in January to prep. On the day of, we have several dozen starting at 5 a.m. until 8 p.m. to cover all venues.
Q: What in your background makes you compelled to volunteer in community activities?
A: My parents. Whether they were volunteering at St. Joe's Church or Youth Tackle or the Boy's Club or the Cub Scouts. My mom and dad were very involved in the community.
Q: What do you say to young people about civic responsibility and helping out in the community?
A: Give as much as you can, because if you're able to give, your blessed. Don't stop giving. It makes people feel good!