Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz and Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee together will host a Virtual Memorial Day Observance Ceremony on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at from the borough home to the highest population of veterans in the City of New York. This is an online-only event, and everyone is encouraged to join from the safety of their own homes while the State of New York remains on P.A.U.S.E. due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our world is a very different place today with our norms turned upside down during this pandemic. But it is still so important to acknowledge the heroes that have kept us safe and protected our freedoms,” said District Attorney KATZ. “As we approach this Memorial Day Weekend, I want to applaud all those that served and sacrificed in our Armed Forces. With a full heart, and on behalf of all those within the Queens District Attorney’s Office, thank you.”
“Queens is eternally grateful to the women and men in the Armed Forces who served and perished in defense of our lives and our freedoms,” said Borough President LEE. “Although the extraordinary nature of these times has cancelled the slate of Memorial Day events across Queens, not even a pandemic will stop us from this annual, united observance in honor of those – and their families – who made the ultimate sacrifice. You are not forgotten.”
The ceremony under social distancing measures, to be livestreamed to the public on, will feature remarks from Borough President Lee and District Attorney Katz delivered from the Veterans Memorial Garden at Queens Borough Hall. The FDNY Ceremonial Unit will present and retire the nation’s colors. Flotilla Staff Officer Barbara Wighton of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Band will perform “Taps” on a bugle in memory of the fallen. Rabbi Eli Blokh of the Chabad of Rego Park will deliver the invocation, while Pastor Courtney Brown of Upper Room International Ministries in Far Rockaway will deliver the benediction.

In the days preceding the May 21 ceremony, Borough President Lee and District Attorney Katz will lay wreaths across the borough with various Queens organizations at the following locations:

· Broad Channel Park in Broad Channel with the Broad Channel Memorial Day Parade Committee
· Coleman Square in Howard Beach
· Doughboy Park in Woodside
· Flagpole at Bell Boulevard and 53rd Avenue in Bayside with the Bayside Hills Civic Association
· Glendale Veterans Triangle in Glendale with the Allied Veterans Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale NY, Inc.
· Maspeth Memorial Square in Maspeth with the United Veterans and Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth, Inc.
· Myrtle Avenue Clemens Triangle in Ridgewood with the Allied Veterans Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale NY, Inc.
· Poppenhusen Triangle in College Point with the College Point Citizens for Memorial Day, Inc.
· Remsen Family Cemetery in Forest Hills
· Veterans’ Circle in Rockaway Park with the American Legion Daniel M. O’Connell Post 272 Memorial Day Parade Committee
· Veterans Memorial Triangle in Laurelton with the Laurelton Memorial Day Parade Committee
· Veterans Monument and Flagpole in Little Neck with the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Association, Inc.
· Veteran’s Square in Rosedale with the Rosedale Civic Association Memorial Day Parade Committee
· Whitestone Veterans Memorial in Whitestone with the Whitestone Veterans Memorial Day Parade Committee

The ceremony will also feature a live wreath-laying by Vietnam Veterans of America President John Rowan, representing Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32, at the Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Elmhurst Park — the first Memorial Day since its opening in December 2019. The first-of-its-kind boroughwide memorial in Queens, the memorial honors the 371 Queens service members who died during the Vietnam War or are classified as “missing in action.” The $2.8 million design and construction of the memorial was fully funded by former Borough President and now District Attorney Katz.
In tribute to our nation’s veterans, the flags of the five U.S. military branches (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard) adorn the front entrance of Queens Borough Hall, and will remain in place through Memorial Day. Photo attached.

WHAT: Virtual Memorial Day Observance Ceremony in Queens
WHEN: Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 11 a.m.
Follow the Office of the Queens Borough President via @QueensBP2020 on Twitter and Facebook
Follow the Queens District Attorney’s Office via @QueensDAKatz on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram