Dear Editor (Queens Chronicle):
On May 25, as president of the United Veterans and Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth, I had the honor of leading off Maspeth’s Memorial Day Parade. Prior to the parade’s kickoff, I spent several frustrating minutes asking the supporters of various candidates to remove themselves and the signs and literature that they were holding during the parade’s assembly. I was extremely angered that these candidates would choose this venerable venue to do their politicking. As the parade began I observed these same supporters walking and running adjacent (on the sidewalk) to their particular candidates handing out pamphlets to the assembled crowd along the parade route. At the midway point I could no longer bring myself to march with these candidates so I removed myself and reunited with the members of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Queens Chapter 32 of which I am also the president.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. Memorial Day is not a day for politicians to hand-out their campaign literature to crowds participating in the day’s solemn ceremonies. I was angered that on Sunday, May 25 at the Maspeth Memorial Day Parade, a pair of the candidates blatantly disrespected the memory of our nation’s war heroes by using Memorial Day for their political gain and expediency. I feel it is my duty to remind those candidates that it is our soldiers who afford them the opportunity to run for elected office. More importantly, they should exhibit some reverence and respect to stop politicking for one day to pay homage to those men and women who have died to preserve our democracy. I believe that the offending parties owe veterans and their families an apology for their blatant disregard for the solemn ceremonies many of us hold sacred to honor our country’s fallen heroes.
Pastor Toro Jr.,
president, Vietnam Veterans of America,
You'd think Serf, being a Veteran himself, would have been a little more respectful. But I guess he's a political pig first.