Brooklyn vets march through Manhattan

The United Military Veterans of Kings County, led by Chairman and Air Force veteran Raymond Aalbue, took part in the 104th New York City Veterans Day Parade along Fifth Avenue from 26th to 47th Street in Manhattan.

This year’s highlighted military service was the U.S. Army. Three-star Lt. Gen. Mike Linnington (Ret.), CEO of the Wounded Warrior Project, was the grand marshal. Fort Hamilton’s Garrison Commander Brian Jacobs and Gen. Randy George, the Army’s chief of staff and highest-ranking uniformed officer, and other top brass joined the line of march.

World War I reenactors line up in front of the reviewing stand.

Among the members of the World War I Color Guard reenactors was Bay Ridge’s Marc Hermann, who carried an American flag. Marc’s a military historian, photographer and local actor.

Before the parade there was a massive wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Light Flagstaff Memorial Monument in Madison Square Park. It included a rifle-firing salute by a squad of Marines and an Army Band bugler playing “Taps.”

Col. Brian Jacobs, Fort Hamilton Garrison commander, waves from an Army float.

The parade and memorial tribute in the park were sponsored by the United War Veterans Council of New York.


Justin A. Batt, director of the New York Harbor Defense Museum, was the guest speaker at the Nov. 16 meeting of the Friends of Historic New Utrecht. The event took place in the parish hall of the New Utrecht Dutch Reformed Church on 18th Avenue and 84th Street and was billed as “An Illustrated Lecture on the History of Fort Hamilton.” 

FHNU officers David Elligers and Edward Paunetto greet guest speaker Justin Batt.

David Elligers, president of the FHNU, a retired attorney and local historian, introduced Batt to the audience.

Batt discussed how the Fort Hamilton cornerstone was set in 1825 and the facility wasn’t completed until 1831. It was originally called Fort Lewis and later changed to Fort Hamilton in honor of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. He also said that the commanding officer of Fort Hamilton also commanded Fort Lafayette, which was originally called Fort Diamond.

One of the photos Batt projected showed an all-female Army band marching on the old parade grounds of Fort Hamilton.

The Defense Museum at Sheridan Loop is located on the grounds of Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge. It is housed in a stone building called a caponier, or flank battery, constructed around 1826. The museum is open to the public and admission is free. The current hours are Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 718-630-4349 for more information.

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