Fire trucks and cheerleaders marched down Northport's Main Street in equal fashion Sunday, offering a mosaic of community engagement.
Between the war veterans, civic groups and teachers union, the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Long Island also took part in the procession. But their Cow Harbor Day Parade message hit home from half a world away.
Out in front of the organization's banner two members carried a placard honoring the memory of late U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who was killed in Libya last week during an attack on the U.S. Consulate building.
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“He had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco," said Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Long Island member Linda Merola. "It was to honor the fact he continued to work for peace and understanding and unfortunutely he was killed. He was one of us.”
Merola, a retired teacher from Eastport who once served in the Philippines, marched Sunday and said the show of support was an important reminder of the price of service, but not a political message.
“It affected us,” she added.
The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Long Island has about 200 members and has marched at Cow Harbor going back a decade at the request of Tom Smith, member from Northport.
While Smith no longer lives in New York, the organization considers the Northport parade part of its tradition.
Merola and her fellow members' presence gave those gathered along the parade route some pause during an afternoon of sun and fun.
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