Nation’s Largest Veterans Day Parade Returns for 102nd Year in NYC

By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Reporter
Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter and assignment editor. She covers world news with a focus on U.S. news. Based in Australia, she has a background in clinical optometry. Contact Mimi at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com
November 12, 2021 Updated: November 12, 2021

New York City on Thursday held its annual Veterans Day Parade for the 102nd year on Fifth Ave., marking the largest celebration in the nation honoring all men and women in military service.

Last year, the parade was held without in-person spectators, involving 100 vehicles going down the avenue, to maintain the annual tradition amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. Other Veterans Day events across the nation were also scaled back or virtual.

A wreath-laying ceremony in Madison Square Park kicked off the day’s observance.

“It is a day to remember and to honor, but it should be the first day of what then becomes 365 days of honoring veterans through real actions,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the ceremony.

“If anywhere in this city, if anywhere in this country there is a homeless veteran, then we are not finished. We all have more to do,” he added. “If anywhere there is a veteran suffering from a mental health challenge who is not getting the help he or she needs, we are not finished.”

Crowds of New Yorkers gathered to cheer and witness the parade that started around noon, featuring some 300 marching units, some 30 floats, and 25,000 marchers. Active service members sang march songs and drove along in their military vehicles.

Veterans Day Parade Held In New York City
Marines participate in a wreath-laying ceremony during the Veterans Day Parade in New York City, on Nov. 11, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Veterans Day Parade
Military, police, high school bands, and others march in the Veterans Day Parade in New York City, on Nov. 11, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Veterans Day Parade Held In New York City
Military, police, high school bands, and others march in the Veterans Day Parade in New York City, on Nov. 11, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
2021 New York City Veterans Day Parade
A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps waves at the crowd during the 2021 New York City Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2021. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
2021 New York City Veterans Day Parade
The 2021 New York City Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2021. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Veterans Day Parade Held In New York City
Spectators watch the Veterans Day Parade in New York City, on Nov. 11, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Veterans Day Parade Held In New York City
Spectators watch the Veterans Day Parade in New York City, on Nov. 11, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
2021 New York City Veterans Day Parade
The 2021 New York City Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2021. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
2021 New York City Veterans Day Parade
The 2021 New York City Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2021. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Veterans Day Parade Held In New York City
George Garcia, Master Sgt. USAF, holds his daughter while marching in the Veterans Day Parade in New York City, on Nov. 11, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The event marks 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 attack, as well as 30 years since Operation Desert Storm, also known as the Persian Gulf War.

The parade’s grand marshal this year, Kevin Carrick, is an Air Force veteran and retired Senior Master Sergeant, who served as an elite pararescueman for over 20 years, with the 106th Rescue Wing based in nearby Westhampton on Long Island.

He said it’s an important day to inspire young Americans.

“All the camaraderie … maybe it will generate them to join in the [military] service one day,” Carrick told NTD.

NTD’s Arian Pasdar and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter and assignment editor. She covers world news with a focus on U.S. news. Based in Australia, she has a background in clinical optometry. Contact Mimi at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com