YORKTOWN, N.Y. The annual Yorktown Memorial Day Parade has become a family tradition for Harry Stanton and his family over the last 30 years.
The family meets under a tree on a hill near Rexall Pharmacy to enjoy the parade. Afterward, they go home and enjoy a barbecue.
"It's one of those things in town that reminds you of the way it was when it was a small town," said Stanton, who has lived in Yorktown for 30 years. "It's also a patriotic thing to do."
Tammy Weller traveled from neighboring Cortlandt with her sons, ages 8 and 3, to watch the fire engines and marching bands.
"We come every year," she said, noting that a barbecue and dip in the pool was also on Monday's agenda.
Hundreds of other parade-watchers lined the streets in downtown Yorktown with American flags and patriotic attire, seemingly unfazed by the baking heat. Marching bands from Yorktown High School and Mildred Strang Middle School performed several selections to rousing ovations.
The parade ended at the Jack DeVito gazebo at the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center, where a short ceremony was held, including the laying of wreaths at a veterans memorial. One wreath was carried by Councilman Terrence Murphy and his daughter McKayla, 9.
"This nation will remain the land of the free only as long as it's the home of the brave," said Councilman Vishnu Patel.
About 1.3 million servicemen and women have died in battle in the United States, and about 83,000 remain missing in action.
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