Thousands mark Memorial Day despite canceled ceremony

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Rain led to the cancellations of almost a dozen Memorial Day parades as well as the annual ceremony at Calverton National Cemetery in Wading River, but thousands of people turned out anyway to honor their fallen loved ones. Rain led to the cancellations of almost a dozen Memorial Day parades as well as the annual ceremony at Calverton National Cemetery in Wading River, but thousands of people turned out anyway to honor their fallen loved ones.

Rain led to the cancellations of almost a dozen Memorial Day parades as well as the annual ceremony at Calverton National Cemetery in Wading River, but thousands of people turned out anyway to honor their fallen loved ones.

Karen Parkes took a charter bus from the Bronx to honor her uncle Ronald Browne, an Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War. Officials say she is one of about 4,000 people who braved the rain.

"Once a year, I can look forward to being here on Memorial Day, so that I know I can see him," she says. "I miss him."

But the trip felt like it was missing something, she says, due to the ceremony's cancellation.

"I miss it, you know, something I look forward to," she says of the ceremony. "I'm still here because he matters."

Craig Arsell, the cemetery's assistant director, blamed heavy morning rainfall and the fact that drivers would have had to park on the muddy grass for the cancellation.

"It's definitely not the best to put all of that together," he says. "We could have a big problem. We don't want that for sure."

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