PRESS RELEASE FROM: Spirit of ’45
As the country honors the brave men and women who have answered our nation’s call to duty on Veterans Day, November 11, more than 25,000 people, including 27 active military units from all branches, six Medal of Honor recipients, veterans groups, and high school bands from around the nation, will march in this year’s New York City Veterans Day Parade, the largest in the nation. The annual event, presented by the United War Veterans Council, begins at 10 a.m. with a memorial ceremony in Madison Square Park at 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue. Following speeches by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomber, the parade steps off at 11:11 a.m. and proceeds north on Fifth Avenue to 56th Street.
“The Veterans Day Parade serves as an opportunity for us to honor the brave men and women from every generation who have risked their lives to preserve our freedoms,” said Vincent McGowan, president of the United War Veterans Council.
Among the honorary participants in the parade are U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the nation’s most recent Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, and Nicholas Oresko, the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient. They join four Vietnam veteran Medal of Honor awardees—Paul W. Bucha, Bruce P. Crandall, Alfred Rascon and Brian Thacker.
More than 100 youth will march with enlarged photos of WWII veterans to raise public awareness about Spirit of ’45 Day, the new national day to honor the ìordinary heroesî of America’s Greatest Generation which is observed each year on the anniversary of the end of WWII. Youth will be carrying photos of who were killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, including that of Admiral Issac Kidd who died aboard the USS Arizona. Leading the Spirit of ’45 entry will be Nell Calloway, whose grandfather General Claire Chenault commanded the famous Flying Tigers in America’s first counterattack on December 20, 1941. Also participating in the Spirit of ’45 entry will be surviving members of the Navajo Code Talkers.
Riding on a float with legendary Tuskegee Airman Dr. Roscoe Brown will be Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., who stars in the upcoming George Lucas movie Red Tails, based on the heroism of the African American World War II fighter pilots.
Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck also will ma rch representing the Vietnam Wall Education Center in Washington, D.C.
Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, a Vietnam veteran, will lead 343 New York City firefighters who also are military veterans, one for each of the firefighters who died on 9/11.
Other military dignitaries in the parade include:
• Gen. David H. Petraeus, U.S. Army (Ret), Director, Central Intelligence Agency
• Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations
• Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army
• Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III, Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force
• Lt. General John F. Mulholland Jr. Commanding General of Special Operations
Chase Bank is the principal sponsor of the parade. Frank Bisignano, JPMorgan Chase Chief Administrative Officer and CEO of Chase Mortgage Banking, is serving as co-chairman and lead Grand Marshal of this year’s parade, and Chase will have 200 employees marching in the parade, primarily including veterans and their families.
FOX 5 will provide live parade coverage from noon to 3 p.m. and the parade will be broadcast on Armed Forces Television to U.S. military installations around the world. For more information on the New York City Veterans Day Parade, please visit http://www.vetsday.org or http://www.nycveteransdaycelebrations.com