Generally Speaking: Pandemic impacts Veterans Day Parade

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there won’t be a five-star New York City Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11. However, the United War Veterans Council of New York, which has produced the annual parade for several years, has put together a series of small events that don’t require the usual thousands of marchers and spectators.

Among the components are a motorized convoy of 120 vehicles with flags and banners called the Veterans Day Motorcade, which will travel along the traditional Fifth Avenue parade route from 26th to 46th Street. A separate Veterans’ Motorcycle Ride will also take  place along Fifth Avenue. WABC-TV will do a live 90-minute broadcast saluting the veterans, which will include a wreath-laying ceremony from the deck of Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum aircraft carrier at Pier 86 on West 46th Street along the Hudson River. The organizers  also plan a virtual “line of march” by live streaming over social media the 200 plus profiles of past parade participants.

This year, the U.S. Navy will be recognized as the featured service branch and the parade committee has selected Navy veteran Jared Lyon, the national president and CEO of Student Veterans of America as the grand marshal. In addition, the parade group will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

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In Bay Ridge, the  United Military Veterans of Kings County will join the Veterans Day Motorcade sponsored by the Thomas P. Coughlin Vietnam Veterans of America Memorial Chapter 72.  The convoy of approximately 30 vehicles will start at 12 p.m. and travel along Third Avenue from 75th Street to Marine Avenue, then swing left to 92nd Street and then take a right turn at Poly Place and conclude at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Dyker Heights.

While at the VA, the veterans group will lay wreaths on Monument Walk as a bugler sounds “Taps.”  The motorcade and program are being coordinated by Danny Freeman, president of the Vietnam Veterans chapter. United Military Veterans Chairman Ray Aalbue, President Connie Ranocchia and Vice President Cary Spickler will ride in a 1946 Willys Army Jeep.

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