Riverhead held Memorial Day ceremonies at five monuments around town Monday. Photo: Denise Civiletti

A good crowd turned out for Riverhead’s annual Memorial Day parade and ceremonies yesterday.

People lined downtown streets to watch members of the VFW and American Legion posts and auxiliaries, the Riverhead High School marching band and NJROTC, Riverhead Fire Department, Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Flanders Fire Department, Jamesport Fire Department, local Scout troops, Patriot Guard Riders and vintage military vehicles traverse the parade route connecting the town’s various war memorials and monuments.

The veterans groups placed wreaths at each of the monuments, where prayers were offered, the National Anthem was performed by the high school band and Taps was played by NJROTC Cadet Kevin Jones.

The sacrifice made by our military is “easy to forget,” said Riverhead VFW Post Commander Thomas Nadjzion during the ceremony at the war memorial on the grounds of Pulaski Street School.

“For those who have it, freedom is like oxygen. It is something we just have,” Nadjzion said. “Many will not understand just how precious either is until they are at risk of being taken away. Today, we remember a sacrifice made and a debt we cannot repay.”

Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar called on residents to “remember our military heroes.”

“I am proud to be American and to have freedom. However, we know throughout history, our freedom has never been free,” Aguiar said. “Let us not forget those men and women who along with their families have enabled us to have the right of freedom. They have faced atrocities most of us can’t even fathom. Be assured that those who made the ultimate sacrifice can rest in peace knowing they will never be forgotten,” she said.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.