As the bright sun shone down on thousands of people enjoying the holiday weekend at Playland Park in Rye, the usual sounds of the rides, music and screaming children on thrill rides were overtaken by the roar of three U.S. Marine Corps helicopters as they circled the park.
Their early arrival over the park delighted the crowd and did not deter the organizers of a Memorial Day tribute from continuing with their ceremony at the park's main stage on the midway.
Vetrans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and more recent conflicts made up a large part of the audience as master of ceremonies Vito Pinto from Eastchester-Tuckahoe VFW Post 2285 described of the meaning of the holiday as "a tribute to those who made the supreme sacrifice."
As the helicopters continued to circle the park, veterans stood at attention and saluted as County Executive Rob Astorino read the roll call of soldiers from Westchester County who had died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Members of the VFW and American Legion Post 135 from White Plains formed a rifle detail and fired three vollies of shots, which were followed by the playing of "Taps."