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Bergen, NJSP pipe and drum corps march proudly to police memorial

Photo Credit: of Friday’s parade:
Photo Credit: of Friday’s parade:

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: The names of all the law enforcement officers killed in New York City the past year were read and “Taps” was played, as a throng of onlookers crowded around the granite “Killed in Action” wall near Ground Zero, following the city’s 10th annual police memorial parade, led by the Bergen County and State Police pipe and drum corps.

Bergen County Pipe & Drum Corps (CLIFFVIEW PILOT photos)

Corps from as far as California and Toronto joined in the parade, which stepped off at the northwest end of Battery Park along Battery Place, before cutting west on Joseph Ward Street and then north again on South End Avenue, in brilliant sunshine.

The marchers also included uniformed officers from England and France, as well as the pipe and drums corps of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the NYPD, and the United States Marine Corps.

Classic vehicles rolled in front of each group — among them, a California Highway Patrol car, the familiar powder-blue NYPD Seventies model and an original green 1930 NYPD Mack Truck, complete with running boards and a huge beacon spotlight in back. The Bergen contingent was led by a four-man honor guard from the Paramus Police Department.

As the parade moved north to the police memorial in the North Cove Marina, 3,000 flags were being displayed back in Battery Park to honor all of those who died in the terror attacks.

(Here’s a video, with photos, of Friday’s parade:)

A lone officer stood above the Killed-in-Action-Wall, which bears the name of every police officer who ever died in the line of duty in New York City, as NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly addressed the crowd.

As in years past, he said, the ceremony paid homage to more than the police, firefighters and FBI agent who died trying to save others that fateful say. Also being honored, the commissioner said, are “all of those who died from illness that they contracted as a result of working at Ground Zero, and at the landfill in Staten Island, after that horrific event. We will never forget their service or their sacrifice.” ( SEE VIDEO, BOTTOM )

The parade, the turnout, and the music of the pipe and drums, “is a powerful tribute to these courageous individuals. Their example will live for the ages and inspire us in everything that we do, from fighting crime to safeguarding the city from terrorism.”

At the memorial (Paramus officers at left)

NYPD PBA President Patrick Lynch later told the gathering: “If you attack one of us, you attack all of us. We will respond and we will defend.”

As members of the various agencies mingled afterward, pipers and drummers from Bergen and Suffolk counties, Wilmington, Del., and elsewhere combined for an impromptu jam session/parade line that marched into nearby P.J. Clarke’s.

Both the Bergen and NJSP corps are performing at a memorial concert at Manhattan’s Town Hall theater tonight.

The show is sold out, but CLIFFVIEW PILOT will bring you a taste of the entertainment.

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