By Sabina Mollot
On Friday, the Veterans Day Parade, also known as America’s Parade, took place with around 25,000 marchers making their way from Madison Square Park up to midtown.
This year’s parade commemorated the 15th anniversary of 9/11, with special recognition of Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Post-9/11 veterans, as well as first responders. It also marked the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm. The Coast Guard was this year’s featured military branch.
Town & Village’s own advertising representative Sal Governale, who served as a member of the Coast Guard and is now a reservist, attended the festivities and noticed that among marchers there was some discontent. A number of veterans in attendance, Governale observed, were complaining bitterly about the president-elect. One concern was over Donald Trump’s widely reported critical remarks to the parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier, made during the campaign.
Prior to the march, which saw a large turnout, Mayor Bill de Blasio was among the speakers making opening remarks. While at the podium he noted that New York’s parade is actually the largest veteran parade in country.
He then went on to say it was important to make sure veterans’ voices are heard in terms of their needs on housing and other issues.
“For too long, we’ve seen our nation fall short when it comes to taking care of those who served us. And it shouldn’t be,” de Blasio said. He also urged New Yorkers to act if they see a homeless veteran by calling 311 so that the city can help find the person housing.