RYE, N.Y. -- Rye will host a Memorial Day parade in 2014, the first since the 1980s.
The parade was once a staple of the holiday weekend for many years, but was brought to an end by the city after attendance fell. Now the city hosts an annual memorial ceremony on the Village Green in front of the Rye Free Reading Room. But members of the American Legion Post 128 and the Ladies Auxiliary of Post 128 joined together to bring the parade back.
The parade has been approved by the City Council and will be held on Monday, May 26 from 9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. The plan is to start at the train station and travel down Purchase Street to the Village Green, where a ceremony will be held.
The committee to bring the parade back is being headed by Robin Phelps Latimer, president of the Ladies Auxiliary. She said that she wanted to resurrect the parade because it created community spirit, and that there has been a lot of interest in bringing it back. The parade is in the planning stage at the moment.
"I don't want to limit it just to the American Legion," she said. Because the schools and Little League have Memorial Day celebrations, she said, "I would really like to turn it into a community parade and get a lot of different organizations involved and turn it into a very nice event."
City Manager Scott Pickup said that he and Latimer have begun to contact the police about coordinating the event, and that they want to speak with merchants along the parade route as well.
City Council Member Richard Filippi said that 2014 was an especially appropriate year to resurrect the parade, because it will be the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
"I think the idea of bringing together the community is also very strong because when you look back at the reasons why we were so successful in those global wars, it was that the whole country came together and was able to take up the banner and pull for a common cause," he said. He added that the parade would be a good reminder of that effort for the community.