Generally Speaking: America’s Biggest Veterans Day Parade to be held on November 11

The United War Veterans Council of New York will be hosting the 96th annual New York City Veterans Day Parade on Wednesday, November 11, starting at 11:11 a.m. Since the U.S. Navy is commemorating its 240th anniversary, the council has designated it as the featured military service for this year’s parade.

The parade route will be along Fifth Avenue, from 26th to 56th Street with the reviewing grandstand at 41st Street in front of the New York Public Library. Former Manhattan District Attorney Henry Morgenthau, a World War II Navy veteran, will be the 2015 grand marshal. Originally called Armistice Day to celebrate the end of World War I, the parade, which now honors veterans of all eras, will have military units, family support groups, military and vintage vehicles and marching bands from across America.

Prior to the parade, there will be the traditional opening ceremony at the Eternal Light Monument at Fifth Avenue and 24th Street, next to Madison Square Park, at 10 a.m. The Secretary of the Navy and top military brass, in addition to Mayor Bill de Blasio, will be participating. This year’s parade theme is “honor and remember.”

This coming Sunday, Bay Ridge will be front and center as over 50,000 runners pass along Fourth Avenue in the 45th annual New York City Marathon. Two local Bay Ridgeites we know who are participating are Tom McCarthy, the new president of the Bay Ridge Historical Society, and Tony Grigos, the executive vice president at the Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union. I’m sure there are many others.

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The Bay Ridge AARP chapter #3630 recently lost one of its long-time members, Teddy Swan, who was also the health services director and frequently read monthly inspirational messages as part of the group’s invocations. Swan was a retired educator who was on the faculty at Bay Ridge High School. Rabbi Dina Rosenberg from the Bay Ridge Jewish Center came to the October meeting of the AARP, delivered a eulogy and gave some prayer readings by Swan’s portrait.

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A group of neighborhood buddies recently came together to write their reminisces of growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s. The result is a book titled My Bay Ridge Youth Remembered. The collaborative scribes are David Donovan, James Quinn, James Quigley, John Cassidy, Reverend James Boyd, Jack Donohue, William Sadler, Art Wetterer, William Pryor and Peter Purpura. Their tome is available from the BookMark Shoppe, 8415 Third Avenue; 718-833-5115

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