North Forkers remember those lost to war with solemn Memorial Day commemorations

ORIENT — In just a few short blocks on Village Lane, the outsized role Orient residents played in America’s wars was remembered in a solemn parade on a foggy Monday morning.

Steve Wick photos

Orient Fire Department’s Memorial Day parade began shortly after 7:30 a.m., winding through the hamlet to the steady beat of drums. Its first stop was the plaque at the entrance of Orient Yacht Club, honoring residents who served in World War I.

Father Piotr Narkiewicz of St. Agnes R. C. Church in Greenport, read a prayer. It was followed by the 24 notes of Taps — a haunting melody, played on a bugle, that is rich with history and emotion. The music lingered in the foggy air. A wreath was laid in front of the memorial.

The Rev. Roger Joslin, pastor of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greenport, read from Psalm 107 as a remembrance to Americans lost at sea. 

The parade then proceeded up Village Lane to a plaque honoring Orient residents who served in World War II. 

As a speaker noted, 52 men and women from Orient served in that war. Fifty-one returned safely. The 52nd — Leslie Vail — was lost when his ship was sunk off Puerto Rico. A wreath was placed on the memorial.

The procession moved on, traveling another half-block to a memorial for those who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, then continued to the top of Village Lane, stopping at the tall obelisk honoring Orient residents who served in the Civil War.

The names carved on the obelisk are those of men who died between 1861 and 1865. Their surnames are familiar, and many are still present in Orient, such as Latham. In just the few blocks of Village Lane, American history — and those who died in wars — were remembered.

SOUTHOLD — The annual Southold Town Memorial Day Parade was hosted this year by the Greenport American Legion Burton Potter Post 185. The parade stepped off Monday at 10 a.m. from the monument at Main and Broad streets in Greenport Village. A reception with hotdogs, soda and beer followed at the Legion hall.

Before the parade, the Boy Scouts hosted their annual Dockside Memorial Service at the Railroad dock with a procession at Adams and Main streets down Front Street to 3rd Street.

Photos by Jeremy Garretson