VILLAGE OF HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, New York — Marines and sailors marched through the streets of the Village of Hastings-on Hudson, New York, in a parade hosted by the town’s fire department, May 29, 2016.

The parade was intended to honor fallen services members from prior and current wars as well as have the Marines and sailors interact with local residents.

“Today is a memorial service here in the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson. It is a great opportunity for veterans and people of the community to recognize all those who died in prior wars,” said retired U.S. Army Col. Timothy Tillson, the post commander for the village’s Veteran of Foreign Wars detachment.

The day started out with the service members being greeted and welcomed by the Village’s fire department.

“We had an excellent greeting from the people of Hastings, particularly the fire department. Chief gave us a very warm welcome and we hung out for a little bit and had a nice lunch before forming up for the parade,” said Pfc. Parker McGinnis, a machine gunner with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

Hastings-on-Hudson has a population of almost 8,000 people and thousands of their residents showed up to show support to the service members.

“I think the town is very pleased with the Marines and sailors coming. We enjoy having a Fleet Week and through our fire department we invite the Marines and sailors every year,” said Tillson. “It is a great privilege for us to have them here. They have given their time in defense of this country, so I appreciate all of them coming.”

The parade also featured the village’s fire department, police department, the VFW, and emergency medical services.

“It was very motivating walking through the streets. You can definitely tell this event meant a lot for the people of Hastings, and I was very thankful for all of it,” said McGinnis.

After the parade, the Marines and sailors, along with Maj. Gen. Brian Beaudreault, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, participated in a wreath-laying ceremony in front of the VFW post.

“My favorite part of the day was the wreath-laying ceremony for Memorial Day and for the fallen veterans. It definitely struck a chord and it was a resounding response from the crowd and military members,” said McGinnis.

As the events ended, the Marines and sailors took part in a barbecue hosted by the fire department.

“Out of my entire experience in New York, Hastings has been my best experience. It has been laid-back, very local, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it,” McGinnis added. “I want to give a big thank you to Hastings-on-Hudson.”