Wearing a blue dress with a red sash, Nealon was honored as one of this year’s grand marshals. The lifelong Maspeth resident is widely known for singing the national anthem at every September 11th ceremony hosted by Maspeth Federal Savings.
“As a little girl growing up in this neighborhood, I would never think someday this would be my honor,” she said. “I’m just so grateful and blessed to be part of this.”
Nealon has a long history of volunteerism and giving back to her community. She volunteers at Maspeth Town Hall and St. Adalbert’s Parish.
During the holidays, she sings to patients at nursing homes. Nealon is also involved with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and runs in their annual 5K.
She said she learned what it means to a patriotic person by growing up in Maspeth.
“It takes a village to raise a child,” she said. “Maspeth has shaped me in so many different ways. I’m very grateful.”
Nealon said she’s also grateful for veterans and everything they’ve done for the country.
“I’m thankful to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave,” she said. “I’m thankful for their sacrifices so I can have a beautiful life.”
She added that she plans to continue giving back to the community, including singing the national anthem or “God Bless America.”
“I really feel that Maspeth is America,” she said. “I love this neighborhood so much.”