2018-11-07 / Front Page

The Queens Veterans Day Parade In Middle Village

Onstage at the Veterans Day Commemorative Ceremony at Christ the King Regional High School were Commander Frederick Gundel who accepted the Humanitarian Award on behalf of Frank Kowalinski Post 4 in Maspeth, guest speaker Major General Troy Kok, Grand Marshal Gerard Michael Opitz, Congress Member Grace Meng, NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, and Assembly Member David Weprin.


PHOTO TONY BARSAMIANOnstage at the Veterans Day Commemorative Ceremony at Christ the King Regional High School were Commander Frederick Gundel who accepted the Humanitarian Award on behalf of Frank Kowalinski Post 4 in Maspeth, guest speaker Major General Troy Kok, Grand Marshal Gerard Michael Opitz, Congress Member Grace Meng, NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, and Assembly Member David Weprin. PHOTO TONY BARSAMIANThe Queens Veterans Day Parade was held on Sunday, November 4 at noon, in Middle Village, presented by the Middle Village Veterans Day Parade Committee. The parade route commenced on 80th Street along Metropolitan Avenue and concluded with a commemorative ceremony at Christ the King Regional High School.

Master of Ceremonies Tony Barsamian introduced the Coastal Patrol Cadet Corps who marched to The Colors; Salvatore P. Candela, EA, led the Pledge of Allegiance; the Coastal Patrol Cadet Corps sang the National Anthem; the Color Guard posted The Colors; and Chaplain Sergeant First Class (SFC) Tracy Mike gave the Invocation.

The guest speaker was Major General Troy Kok, who assumed command of the 99th Major-General Troy Kok, of the 99th Readiness Division, shows the way forward.



PHOTOS WALTER KARLINGMajor-General Troy Kok, of the 99th Readiness Division, shows the way forward. PHOTOS WALTER KARLINGRegional Support Command (RSC) headquartered at Joint Base McGuire Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL) on September 10, 2016. He previously served as the deputy commanding general (support) at the United States Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

As the commanding general of the 99th RSC, Major General Kok is responsible for administrative, logistics and facilities support to more than 44,000 Army Reserve soldiers across a region spanning 13 northeastern states. He also serves as the senior commander of JB MDL and US Army Base Fort Devens Training Facilities and Training Support.

At the Queens Veterans Day Parade in Middle Village were (l. to r.): NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, NYC Council Member Brian Barnwell, Master of Ceremonies Tony Barsamian, Assembly Member David Weprin, guest speaker Major General Troy Kok, and Congress Member Grace Meng.

At the Queens Veterans Day Parade in Middle Village were (l. to r.): NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, NYC Council Member Brian Barnwell, Master of Ceremonies Tony Barsamian, Assembly Member David Weprin, guest speaker Major General Troy Kok, and Congress Member Grace Meng. Grand Marshal Gerard Michael Opitz is a veteran of World War II. Born and raised in Richmond Hill, Opitz earned an associate’s degree from Pace University. He is an avid fan of baseball, football, hockey, NASCAR, and golf. When he was young, Jerry could be found on the dirt fields around “The Hill” playing baseball or tossing a football. In those early years, he rooted for the NY Giants until their move to San Francisco. Since 1962, without question, the Mets have been his team…win or lose!

It wasn’t long after Jerry graduated high school when the United States entered WWII. November 21, 1942 found Jerry and his parents at the local recruiting station. He decided to enlist, rather than wait to be drafted.

The Humanitarian Award went to Frank Kowalinski Post 4 in Maspeth, represented by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7335 in Glendale.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7335 in Glendale. Veterans Day Parade Grand Marshal and World War II veteran Gerard Michael Opitz, 95, greets bystanders.
Veterans Day Parade Grand Marshal and World War II veteran Gerard Michael Opitz, 95, greets bystanders. Commander Frederick Gundel. The post is a great organization, well known in the area and is very active in the community and helping veterans since its inception after World War II.  It is part of a network of veterans’ groups that represent the estimated 3 million Polish Americans that have served this country.

The closing ceremonies consisted of The Placing of the Wreath to a drum roll; Taps played by the Coastal Patrol Cadet Corps; a Benediction given by Chaplain Mike; and in closing, “God Bless America” was performed.

The Parade Committee consisted of Committee Chair Tania B. Broschart, Financial Officer Salvatore Candela EA, Recording Secretary Lynda Metzger, Legal Counsel Giovanni P. Sivagni, Esq., Marketing Director Michael Bilski, Committee members Anthony G. Pace and Ralph A. Rosa; and Chaplain SFC Tracy Mike.

Participants included CB5 District Manager Gary Giordano, Chair Vinny Arcuri, Jr., A World War II veteran proudly waves the American Flag.A World War II veteran proudly waves the American Flag.Congress Member Grace Meng, NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assembly Member David Weprin, NYC Council Member Bob Holden (who marched in the parade but was not onstage), NYC Council Member Brian Barnwell, Assembly Member Mike Miller, and Carmela Isabella. Serphin Maltese, Christ the King HS board member could not attend, but sent his regards, best wishes and respect to all our veterans.

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