Greenpoint’s veterans remain in legal limbo after the NYPD rejected their application for their annual Memorial Day parade because the route of the eight-block march was considered one-half-block too long.
Members of Greenpoint’s St. Stanislaus Memorial American Legion Post have kept the route for the past 10 years, but new police regulations now require all city parades to trim routes by one-quarter and limit the duration of parades to five hours.
The NYPD says the cuts will save $3.1 million per year citywide.
Cops rejected the Greenpoint veterans’ initial application for the May 30 parade earlier this month — a proposal that sought the usual eight-block route from Leonard Street up Manhattan Avenue to St. Anthony’s Church at Milton Street and back.
The parade lasts only 90 minutes.
But it was too long for the boys in blue — so last week, the parade committee resubmitted its application, reducing the route by a block and a half — which was only a 19-percent cut in length, not the 25 percent ordered up by 1 Police Plaza.
American Legion post member John Pieprzak is hoping for a little leeway — which amounts to all of a half of one city block.
“We’re hoping they will overlook [it],” he said. “We are only asking for 90 minutes.”
The NYPD’s recalcitrance has irked and confused parade organizers, who have invited school marching bands, neighborhood veterans, sailors in town for Fleet Week, and active duty soldiers between deployments to the Middle East to march in Greenpoint on Memorial Day.
“This is about honoring all veterans living and deceased. We’re the only parade in the city that still incorporates a mass for the dead,” said parade founder Rick Kenney.
Parade organizers have faith that the police will “do the right thing” and that the parade will go on as scheduled — indeed, they say they’ve only heard positive words from 94th Precinct commander, Deputy Inspector Dennis Fulton.
“I’ll work something out with them soon,” he said. “They’ll be happy. It won’t be as long, but it will be just as good.”
That said, Fulton has not signed off on any deal yet.
St. Stan’s Memorial American Legion Post [519 Leonard St. near Driggs Avenue in Greenpoint, (718) 383-9822). For info, visit www.ststanspost1771.org.
©2010 Community News Group
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