June 17, 2013 By Bill Parry
About 1,000 residents participated in Sunnyside’s 44th annual Flag Day Parade under brilliant sunshine on Saturday morning.
The parade, the only one in Queens, made its way up Greenpoint Ave. from 41st Street to Sabba Park, which is located at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and 48th Street. A patriotic ceremony was then held in the park.
The Sunnyside Drum Corp., The United 40’s Civic Association, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and local leaders all marched up Greenpoint Ave. They marched behind a vintage ’47 Chevy that included passengers such as Carol Masiello, the President of the Kiwanis Club (the parade’s sponsor), and several other dignitaries.
A huge contingent from PS 199 also took part. “We had over 300 students and their parents marching today,” said School Principal Anthony Inzerillo. “They are of all different cultures, all shapes and sizes and colors – I’m very proud of that.”
Flag Day is a National Holiday that has been held every June 14th since 1949 and it honors the Star Spangled Banner. The idea was originally proposed in 1885 as a way to inspire students to honor the nation’s flag.
Joe Conley, the chairman of Community Board 2, marched in the parade for the 30th time. “You make a real statement by taking part in what’s become a signature event of this community.”
The students helped provided the inspiration for many of the speeches that were made during the ceremony in Sabba Park. The focus was on the neighborhood’s cultural diversity.
There was a strong showing from IS 125. The school was also represented by a diverse student body and its chorus belted out a couple of songs.
“I think the crowd was beautiful and representative of our neighborhood,” said Father Brian Dowd of Queen of Angels Church. “I see a wonderful cross section of our community and I love it.”