CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Chappaqua's two famous residents were a major draw this year for the town of New Castle's Memorial Day parade.
Although Bill and Hillary Clinton have participated several times over the years - with either one or both having marched the past few years - this parade is the first of the 2016 presidential season and marked the first time the Clintons have appeared together in public since Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy in a video released April 12.
There was no shortage of supporters for Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, as stickers and shouts were apparent along the route.
“Two-thousand-sixteen, Hillary, two-thousand-sixteen!” shouted one woman.
“I love you, Hillary!” shouted another.
The parade started on Ridgewood Terrace before making its way along Route 117 and down the King Street hill that makes up a portion of Route 120. From there, it headed along South Greeley Avenue before ending at the memorial plaza in front of the train station.
The Clintons arrived to an assembly of marchers on Ridgewood, where they took questions from people in attendance.
Speaking at what became an ad-hoc press conference, Bill Clinton gave an example of a fallen service member, noting that he has a photo of a soldier who was going off to Bosnia. While the solider returned, the former president added that he was killed in a terrorist attack in Saudia Arabia.
“Bad things happen, good things happen," Bill Clinton said. "But, you know, we have this amazing volunteer military.”
Bill Clinton noted that soldiers show up and know the risk, adding that this is also the case with people in diplomatic service.
Asked what it's like marching this year, given that Hillary Clinton is running for president, Bill Clinton noted their continuing presence in the parade.
“It’s what we do every year, what we’ve been doing all along.”
Hillary Clinton touched upon service members who come home, whether having died or having been wounded. The former Secretary of State also expressed support for making sure that soldiers who served are not forgotten and are honored.
Turnout from the press was also sizable, higher than even what the most controversial local stories lead to. The Clintons were visited by numerous spectators once the parade ended.
Before giving a benediction for the remembrance ceremony, Rev. Larry Holland of Grace Baptist Church thanked the Clintons for their presence.
“They really do make this parade special, don’t they?”
The ceremony featured readings of biographies of local residents who served in wartime and have since passed away. It also featured a presentation of the wreath by Girl Scouts, and renditions of taps, "America the Beautiful" and "The Star Spangled Banner."
One of the deceased veterans who was mentioned, longtime resident Gabby Rosenfeld, was honored at the town's 2012 Memorial Day parade , which this reporter covered at the time for Patch. There, Hillary Clinton pinned a medal on Rosenfeld , which was from France in honor of his World War II service. Rosenfeld planted a kiss on the then-Secretary's right hand.
When Eric Rosenfeld, the late veteran's son, spoke of his father's life and mentioned the medal, Hillary Clinton could be seen smiling.
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