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Centennial Celebration Honors Our Veterans on 5th Avenue

12 Nov
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Presentation of Flags

     A tradition that began 100 years ago in NYC was celebrated in a grand style that only New Yorkers can do. America honored its veterans in all the Armed Forces with marching bands from all parts of the country , floats with our beloved vets, and lots of fanfare. Before the parade started, there was a ceremony at Madison Square Park where a stage was set up for honored guests and speakers to proclaim the importance of the sacrifice these men and women  made to protect our nation. For the first time ever, a sitting US President attended the event. President Trump spoke to the vets about their courage and how we should all help our vets. There was a laying of the wreath at the Eternal Light Flagstaff where the victorious forces of the Army and Navy in World War 1 were honored. The parade kicks off from this spot up 5th Avenue to 46th St.  The warm weather for early November brought out lots of revelers as the parade route was starting to fill up.

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Marine Corp Marching Band

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Raising Our Flag In Victory

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The Few The Proud The Marines

     This year honored the Marine Corp as they were the honorary lead group. Everyone was amazed at the sharp uniform and precision steps. The Marine Corp Marching Band set the bar for the drumline. When I take videos of marching bands at the all the parades in NYC, I focus in on the drumline because that’s the heart and soul of the group. They were one of the best I have seen all year. All the Marine vets came out to march with the most notable being astronaut and moon walker Buzz Aldrin. This years Grand Marshalls represented 4 wars. US Marine Corp Veteran Zach Iscol from Pound Ridge NY was the last one chosen among the other distinguished vets.

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Valley Forge Prep

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Celebrating with Pride

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Buzz Aldrin waving to the Crowd

     The Veterans Day Parade showcases some of the best marching bands from High Schools across the country. They were all great and made the vets proud. For many students, it was their first time in the city. Visiting from Athens, Alabama were the East Limestone HS Marching Band. They got the crowd worked up for what would be a fun filled day. Revelers were treated to a fun marching band from Ankeny Iowa. A band from Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania had a fun group of flag bearers. Probably the best brass section came from Downington East of Exton PA. A small but energetic band was from Waterloo, NY HS Marching Band. Seneca East HS Tiger Pride from Ohio and Bloominton IL HS Marching Raiders put on a great show for the vets.

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     On each block of the parade route you can see vets from all parts of the city, state and country watch with pride. One of the best things to see is how total strangers greet each other with respect because they served the greatest country on the planet. The Coast Guard Marching Band played with lots of energy. They brought out one of their newer boats that protects our shores. The Air Force sent an Honorary Guard from Washington DC. The Navy had a great representation but Army was up for the challenge and out yelled them by a few dozen decibels. That extra energy might translate to win on the gridiron later on this month. The parade also paid tribute to our allies that helped us especially in World War 1 and 2.  Support groups like the Wounded Warrior Project and Headstrong made some noise and helped bring awareness to vets and families about their services.

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     This parade was one of the better Veterans Day parades I have attended. There was alot of thanks and respect given to the men and women for all the sacrifice they made to make this the great country we enjoy. Freedom is not free and we enjoy the freedoms we have because these vets gave of themselves for our country and way of life. Do something nice for a vet when you can. They deserve it.

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Thank You For Your Service and Sacrifice

America Honors Its Heroes On Centennial Mark of End of WW1

12 Nov

 

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Raise Our Flags Up High

     The red carpet was rolled out for the thousands of Veterans being honored in the annual Veterans Day Parade up 5th Ave. The event coincides with Armistice Day which remembers the end of Word War 1 and is a National Holiday for many of our Allies. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany to cease any further hostilities. Many Veterans Day events go on throughout the country but the NYC Veterans Day Parade is the largest in the country. And New York knows how to throw a celebration. Before the parade kicks off, festivities are held in Madison Square Park and at 11:11 a 21 gun salute is made in honor of all those servicemen and women that made the ultimate sacrifice.  The parade kicked off with lots of anticipation as floats and marchers were eager for the celebration to get started and what a celebration it was.

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Honorary Lead Band

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World War 1 Soldiers On a Mission

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French Soldiers Ready For Action

     Some great marching bands from all over the country were invited to participate in the parade. The honorary lead band came in from Valley Forge with some snazzy uniforms. Soldiers dressed in WW1 uniforms marched up the parade route soon followed by their French counterparts. They got the crowd worked up for a great parade.   Leading the Armed Forces were the West Point Cadets with a group honoring the memory of the 77th Sustainment Brigade which drafted men mostly from New York City to fight in WW1 in France. One of the most anticipated groups followed the Army section of the parade. Floats carrying WW2 vets arrived with all revelers on the parade route stopping to applaud the remaining members of The Greatest Generation. It was great to see people bring in photos of loved ones to be a part of the event.

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World War 2 Vet Enjoying the Attention

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Grateful Revelers

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Army Band Ready to Play

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West Point Cadets Have the Best Uniforms

 

     Kicking off he many great marching bands from across the country were the Seaman High School Marching Band from Topeka, Kansas. They were pretty good. They got things warmed up for the Marine Corp and their group. They have no bands. It’s just business with the Marines. They made their way through for the Vietnam vets. They got lots of love from the crowd with many yelling out Welcome Home. A reception they did not get at the end of the Vietnam War. Another marching band from Grayslake Illinois made quite an impression. The Korean Vets group has always been inclusive of many of the Koreans that fought in the first of the Cold Wars.

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Marine Corp Always the First in Action

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Vietnam Vets Enjoying the Moment

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Golden Lions Brings It

 

     Navy made their way up the parade route with lots of fanfare and lots of love from the crowd.  Heard a few folks yell out Beat Army in anticipation of the Rivalry football game coming up later on this month. But for today, Army and Navy got along.  Another marching band from Maryville Missouri did pretty good. Even though the Gahanna Lincoln Golden Lions from Ohio kicked it up a notch better. Air Force arrived right on schedule and was well received by the crowd. One of the best bands of the day came in from Towson University in Maryland. They stole the show. The more tech savvy vets arrived with the Iraq and Afghanistan War group. As always they were loud and proud.

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Korean Vet Getting Ready

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Navy Bearing Flags

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The Smartest Vets

     Plenty of support groups were there to raise awareness of their services. Most people know of the Wounded Warrior Project and Operation Mend but service dogs were highlighted and several corporate sponsors offering employment opportunities to Veterans.   Closing out the parade were several groups of Vets bearing signs for peace not war and requests for more money for Veterans not Nukes. These are the groups that capture the spirit of the day. Peace on Armistice Day. Our military has defended our freedom from tyranny, monarchs, fascists, terrorists and is the best fighting force the world has ever scene. It is the strength of the Armed Forces that helps keep the peace all throughout the planet. And we got there is thanks to all the service men and woman that sacrificed their time and more for love of country. Thank you Vets for defending our Freedom and our beloved nation.

Written by: Albert Terc

Photos by: Albert Terc

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Carrying Old Glory With Pride and Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

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