On Friday, New York’s 103rd Veterans Day Parade took place despite the rainy weather.
Every year, New York holds the Veterans Day Parade. It is the nation’s largest Veterans Day event. The United War Veterans Council annually hosts the parade.
“We are excited to once again give New Yorkers the opportunity to salute those who have served our nation,” United War Veterans Council president and executive director Mark Otto said.
“These brave men and women stepped forward at critical moments throughout history to fight for the freedom of our nation and our allies around the world. We are proud to celebrate and thank our Grand Marshal and veterans — from every era and branch of service — at this year’s 103rd Veterans Day Parade,” he also expressed.
The Veterans Day Parade honors all eras of service and all service branches. However, the United States Coast Guard is this year’s featured Service Branch.
Vincent W. Patton, the first Black master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard, is this year’s grand marshal. From 1998 to 2002, Patton served in the Coast Guard’s highest enlisted position. He only retired after 30 years of active duty.
The parade usually starts with a speaker program. As a consequence to health and safety protocols, the parade had a modified opening ceremony. Instead, Mayor Eric Adams and Vincent Patton took part in a special wreath laying ceremony in Madison Square Park.
The parade saw 20,000 marchers, 25 patriotic floats, and 300 marching units. Veteran groups, service providers, military units, student veterans, and veteran employee groups were also present.
103rd Veterans Day Parade Participants
Arthur Grabiner, 96, has marched in 34 parades. “I’m still alive and kicking,” the World War II veteran told CBS News.
“I was in World War II, I was in the Navy on the attack transport ship. We had the landing craft that took the troops in.”
Noah, 31, told NY Art Life that he traveled from Michigan yesterday for the parade. “I never miss the parade because I have great respect for those who served our homeland. I salute my great-grandfather for being one of them.”
23 year old Olivia who’s a tourist in the city told us how it feels watching the parade. “There’s nothing like this in my country! I can’t believe I’m in New York right now witnessing this big event!”
Meanwhile, we asked Bronx resident Xavier, 25, what he thought about the Parade being rainy.
“Rain or shine, we salute everyone who served and will still serve the country,” he remarked.
Were you at the 103rd Veterans Day Parade? Tell NY Art Life your experience in the comments below!