NYC Celebrates 9/11, Operation Desert Storm, War on Terror
NEW YORK – The New York City Veterans Day Parade, the largest celebration of the US Armed Forces, has returned along Fifth Avenue after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the celebration with onlookers last year.
The 102nd annual parade produced by the United War Veterans Council kicked off at noon. It marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the 30th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm and the Global War on Terror.
Elite Air Force pararescue veteran Kevin Carrick was the parade grand marshal. Carrick is a retired master sergeant who served for more than two decades as an elite pararescueman with the 106th Rescue Wing based in Westhampton, Long Island.
Members of the U.S. Air Force march in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2021. (FOX 5 NY Photo by Andre Greller)
Carrick was among the elite but little-known specialists dedicated to saving lives. Pararescuemen respond to overseas combat zones and disaster areas at home and abroad, including the first military search and rescue response at Ground Zero and support during the COVID pandemic.
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“Kevin represents the best of the spirit of service that drives men and women in all branches of the military,” said the United War Veterans Council.
A veteran watches the parade from the bleachers along 5th Avenue in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2021. (FOX 5 NY Photo by Andre Greller)
The parade brought together nearly 200 marching units, including veteran groups, service providers, military units, veteran student and employee veteran groups, JROTC and more. Marching bands, parade floats and vintage vehicles added to the festive atmosphere.
“It is a day to remember and honor, but it should be the first day of what will then become 365 days of honoring veterans through real actions,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a ceremony. before the parade. “If anywhere in this city, if anywhere in this country there is a homeless veteran, then we are not done. We all have more to do. If there is a veteran suffering from ‘a mental health issue that doesn’t get the help he or she needs, we’re not done.’
Members of the Coast Guard march in the New York City Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (US Coast Guard Photo)
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The parade welcomed US Marine Corps Desert Storm Hero and 2019 Grand Marshal Emeritus Eddie Ray.
The parade followed its traditional route down Fifth Avenue from 28th Street to 45th Street.
Veterans march in the Veterans Day Parade along 5th Avenue in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2021. (FOX 5 NY Photo by Andre Greller)
“We look forward to returning in person to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the War on Terror, and the 30th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm,” said UWVC President and Executive Director Mark Otto, before the parade. “These milestones represent critical moments in our nation’s history when brave men and women made great sacrifices to defend our country. We know New Yorkers are eager to show their support for all of our veterans. and welcome the Parade back to Fifth Avenue!”
For more information visit www.nycvetsday.org
Spectators line the route of the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2021. (FOX 5 NY Photo by Andre Greller)