The 97th annual New York Veterans Day Parade sponsored by the United War Veterans Council will take place on Friday, November 11, at 11:15 a.m. This year’s parade will commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11, and will include three grand marshals who are 9/11 first responders and post-9/11 military veterans. They are retired U.S. Army Colonel Stephanie Dawson, the chief operating officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; NYPD Detective Nelson Vergara, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Duggan, Jr., a U.S. Army veteran.
The parade route will be along Fifth Avenue, from 26th to 52nd Street, with the reviewing grandstand in front of the New York Public Library, at 41st Street and Fifth Avenue. While members of all the military services will be marching, the U.S. Coast Guard will be the 2016 featured military branch.
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day marking the end of World War I. The first parade was held in New York City in 1919, and has grown to commemorate the service of all veterans from all wars and deployments.
Among the local groups expected to be marching will be the Fort Hamilton High School Junior ROTC Tiger Battalion led by Major Sang Lee and Sergeant David Freeland.
Fort Hamilton High School Principal Kaye Houlihan was beaming with pride at the terrific turnout the Shore Road school had for its 75th anniversary celebration. City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina was met at the entrance to the school by Student Council President Matthew Sanchez and Council Secretary Kari Larsen as they then escorted her into the lobby to meet the principal.
In addition to the tours of the school, there was a celebration ceremony held in the Larry Laurenzano Performing Arts Auditorium which included the presentation of the colors by the Junior ROTC color guard, greetings by the principal and the chancellor, remarks by City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, student government president of the Class of 1977, and the first president of the school’s alumni association.
Other program highlights were a spectacular performance by the school’s Joffrey Ballet Academy, a choral performance by the FHHS Chorus and the finale, the grand entrance down the aisles by the schoolcs championship marching band with the flag co-eds spinning their flags on the stage. It made us all swell with pride and joy!
The Fort Hamilton Citizens Action Committee hosted a community reception at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island for new garrison commander Colonel Peter Sicoli and the new Sergeant Major Tony Stephens. It was an opportunity for local community leaders to welcome him to the Big Apple.