Patriots big and small salute Longport veterans

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American Legion honor guard members are, from left, Bob Strawder, Bill Cannaday, John Stroebele and Sabrina Strawder.
LONGPORT – John A. Kuzmann American Legion Post 469 presided over the annual Longport Memorial Day parade and service Monday, May 28.

The parade wound its way from 33rd Avenue to the memorial at Thomas B. Reed Park, where Post Cmdr. Larry Pacentrilli thanked the veterans and the crowd gathered along with the JROTC color guard from Atlantic City High School, the Longport volunteer firefighters, the police and the dignitaries.
“Thank you for making our small-town parade a big-time success,” he said.
Mayor Nick Russo said Memorial Day is bittersweet.
“This weekend is the traditional start of our summer when we welcome all of our friends back. But it is also the time to remember all of those men and women who have earned our respect and our thanks for making the ultimate sacrifice and reminding us that freedom is not free,” he said.
Pacentrilli struck a somber note as he read the honor roll of members of Post 469 who have passed on since Memorial Day 2011: Bill Ray, Joe Carney, Joe DeFeo and Frank Kane.

Photos by Suzanne Marino

Three generations of the Farrell family join the annual Memorial Day parade in Longport. Here, Jack Farrell, 3, catches a ride while his father Andrew, left, as his grandparents Doug and Kate Farrell walk alongside.   Lydia Presenza, 7, of Longport and Haddonfield takes part in the parade with James DiBlasi, 5 1/2 of Longport and Medford, and Michael Toy, 4 1/2 , of Longport and Conshohocken.   Marcus Shestack, 7, of Longport is decked out in his red, white and blue for the Memorial Day parade.   Atlantic City High School Jr. ROTC color guard members Job Santiago, 17, of Atlantic City; Chris Bakaj, 17, of Longport; and Shaquille Shorter, 16, Alan Arevazo, 16, and Eric Campos, 14, all of Atlantic City, display the colors.   Members of John A. Kuzmann American Legion Post 469 snap a salute to their fallen comrades Monday at the Memorial Day ceremony in Longport.   Longport volunteer firefighter Jim Fehrenbach and Fire Chief Lavon “Lefty” Clayton place a wreath at the veterans memorial.   American Legion members Ed Janusko and Chaplain Donal Sheehan salute during the playing of taps.   Monica Morrison and Rychrof Connor of Ventnor play taps at the Longport Memorial Day ceremony Monday.

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