Moriches Veterans Day parade

A salute to sacrifice and service


On Nov. 9, residents and elected officials packed the streets of East Moriches to honor the sacrifice and service that our brave veterans make on behalf of all Americans, at the Moriches Veterans Day parade. 

Cpl. Jean Littman served as the parade’s 2021 grand marshal—the first woman veteran to hold the honor. Littman, a 90-year-old Korean war veteran, served in the U.S. Marines Corps from 1952 to 1955. Her responsibilities were vast and many, beginning with a role she held driving the motor pool at El Toro, Santa Anna, Calif. During her brave service in the Korean War, she was awarded the National Defense Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. 

“It’s a good part of my life. I could live on my memories alone,” Littman said of her time in the Corps. 

Ling Wong volunteered to drive Littman in her 1967 red Chevy Camaro. During the parade, Littman sat in the backseat, waving to parade-goers and waving an American flag. 

“I’m excited for her. She’s happy to be here representing the Marines,” said Lisa Fischer, a fellow Marine veteran from Patchogue. 

Fischer and Littman became friends through veterans’ organizations, including the Women Marines Association.  Fischer said that many more women have joined the service in recent years, but that during Littman’s time, women gravitated towards other career paths. 

“I know when Jean enlisted, it wasn’t very common,” said Fischer.

But Littman was steadfast in her desire to become a Marine, inspired by the path that family members before her had taken. By the time the Korean War started in 1950, she knew she’d enlist. 

“The men could go in at 17—I had to wait until I was 21,” she said. 

Enlisting took a bit of nudging—her father waited six months before signing the paperwork that allowed her to join the Marines. 

Robin Luthardt, a parade volunteer, was present, snapping photos and thanking veterans for their service. Luthardt said that Veterans Day is especially important for remembering our World War II veterans, who are now all in their 90s. World War II lasted from Sept. of 1939 to Sept. of 1945, meaning that if a veteran signed up at 17 years old for the last year of the war, they’d be 93 right now.

“Everyone needs to honor and remember what our veterans do for us on a daily basis. We’re at the last of our World War II veterans and I think it’s very important for us to show them that we appreciate what they’ve done for us,” she said. 


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