An historic flag will help lead the march for traditional Veteran’s Day Parade.
On Friday, October 17, a battle-scarred flag that was once carried into the Persian Gulf War was presented to local veterans to recognize and honor their sacrifices by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
The ceremony, which took place at Brooklyn Borough Hall, was attended by representatives of the United War Veterans Council, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Marine Corps League, and student veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
The group plans to march with historic flag on November 11 during America’s Parade, the 95th annual New York City Veterans Day Parade.
“The spirit of One Brooklyn, along with the support and solidarity of its residents, was carried into battle through the flag that now stands proudly in Brooklyn Borough Hall as a tribute to the bravery of those men and women who brought it safely home,” said Adams. “Now, it will once more be carried into service, this time by veterans who have bravely served our nation and are justly honored for their service and their sacrifice.”
The flag was damaged during Operation Desert Storm, scorched by burning fragments from an enemy Scud missile. It was given by then-Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden in 1990 to the 102nd Maintenance Company, 244th Nation Guard Division. The flag was returned to Brooklyn at homecoming ceremonies the following year.
Brooklyn native and Executive Director of the United War Veterans Council Patrick Gualtieri – who served in Vietnam — explained the significance of the day of remembrance. Noting that there are “more than 52,000 Brooklyn veterans from all eras living in our great borough,” Gualtieri, who is executive director of the United War Veterans Council, producers of the now-televised America’s Parade, said, “I assure you that this flag will be respected and featured during the parade.”
Another Brooklyn native, Marine Corps veteran of OIF Sergeant Shamar Thomas, echoed the sentiments. “Like this flag, our nations’ veterans and their families wear the scars of war, prompting us to never forget,” he said. “As we walk down Fifth Avenue for the Veterans Day Parade, we must never forget those who have come before us, who have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that freedom persists.”
“I am honored to take part in this small gesture of our borough’s everlasting appreciation for our veteran community, and I am committed to using my role as borough president to advance their general welfare with the support and resources they deserve,” added Adams.