Step back in time and join the annual event that captures the heart and soul of New York City: America’s Parade. This cherished tradition, dating back to 1919, stands as the largest Veterans Day Parade in the world, a grand spectacle that stretches along the iconic Fifth Avenue. As you stand amongst the crowd, you’ll witness marching elements, floats, vehicles, and participants from various branches of the military, all uniting in a powerful tribute to honor veterans and currently serving military. A different featured service takes center stage each year, with the 2018 parade being led by the esteemed Medal of Honor Recipient Army Capt. Florent Groberg. As you immerse yourself in the vibrant history and heartwarming camaraderie, you’ll be reminded of the sacrifices made and the indomitable spirit that unites Americans across generations.
America’s Parade 2018: Honoring Veterans in New York City
America’s Parade is an annual event held in New York City to honor veterans and currently serving military. It is the largest Veterans Day Parade in the world and the oldest, dating back to 1919. The parade route stretches along Fifth Avenue from 26th to 46th Street, covering a distance of 1.2 miles. The parade features marching elements, floats, vehicles, and participants from various branches of the military.
History of America’s Parade
Origins of Veterans Day
Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, which commemorated the ceasefire that ended World War I on November 11, 1918. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day in 1919, and it became a federal holiday honoring all living American veterans.
Evolution and Name Change
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day to honor veterans from all eras. This change reflected the desire to extend recognition and appreciation to all American veterans, regardless of the war or conflict in which they served.
Roots of America’s Parade
The roots of America’s Parade can be traced back to the Victory Parade held in New York City in 1919 to celebrate the end of World War I. The city came together to honor the veterans who had fought and sacrificed for their country. Since then, various celebrations took place throughout the years, culminating in the establishment of America’s Parade as an annual event.
Importance of Veterans Day
Commemorating World War I Armistice
Veterans Day holds significant historical importance as it commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany, which effectively brought an end to World War I. This ceasefire took place on November 11, 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Veterans Day allows us to remember the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who fought in this war.
Honoring All American Veterans
Beyond commemorating the armistice of World War I, Veterans Day serves as a day to honor all American veterans who have served in the armed forces. It is a time to show appreciation for their courage, dedication, and selflessness in serving our country.
Significance of Parades
Parades are an integral part of Veterans Day celebrations as they provide an opportunity for the public to come together and express their gratitude to the veterans. Parades allow communities to openly show their support, admiration, and respect for the military and the sacrifices made by its members.
Size and Scope of America’s Parade
Largest Veterans Day Parade in the World
America’s Parade holds the distinction of being the largest Veterans Day Parade in the world. Each year, thousands of participants and spectators gather in New York City to honor and pay tribute to our nation’s heroes.
Oldest Veterans Day Parade Dating Back to 1919
With its origins dating back to 1919, America’s Parade is also the oldest Veterans Day Parade. This long-standing tradition showcases the enduring commitment of New York City to honoring and recognizing the service and sacrifice of our veterans.
Impact on New York City
The size and scope of America’s Parade have a significant impact on New York City. The event draws visitors from around the country and the world, contributing to the local economy and showcasing the city as a patriotic hub. It serves as a reminder of the city’s deep-rooted connection to the military and its commitment to honoring those who have served.
Fifth Avenue as the Main Thoroughfare
Fifth Avenue serves as the main thoroughfare for America’s Parade. The iconic avenue provides a grand stage for the parade, allowing spectators to line the streets and cheer on the participants.
Stretch from 26th to 46th Street
The parade route starts at 26th Street and extends to 46th Street, covering a distance of 1.2 miles. This stretch allows for a substantial procession of marching elements, floats, vehicles, and participants.
Spectator Viewing Areas
Spectators have the opportunity to view America’s Parade from various designated areas along the parade route. People line the streets, wave flags, and cheer, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere.
Featured Service Each Year
Honoring Different Branches of the Military
Every year, America’s Parade highlights and honors a different branch of the military. This rotating recognition ensures that each branch receives special appreciation and acknowledgment for their contributions to national security.
2018 Grand Marshal: Army Capt. Florent Groberg
In 2018, Army Capt. Florent Groberg, a Medal of Honor recipient, served as the Grand Marshal of America’s Parade. Capt. Groberg was honored for his heroic actions in Afghanistan, where he tackled a suicide bomber and saved several lives, at the expense of his own well-being.
Selection Process for Grand Marshal
The selection process for the Grand Marshal of America’s Parade is a rigorous and thoughtful one. It takes into account the individual’s military service, accomplishments, and dedication to serving others. The Grand Marshal represents the epitome of courage and sacrifice, symbolizing the values that Veterans Day and America’s Parade aim to celebrate.
Participants and Elements
Marching Bands and Units
Marching bands and units play a vital role in America’s Parade. They create a vibrant and rhythmic atmosphere as they perform patriotic tunes and showcase their precision and discipline.
Floats and Vehicles
Elaborately decorated floats and vehicles are a common sight in America’s Parade. These colorful displays pay tribute to various aspects of military service, showcasing the pride and commitment of our veterans and currently serving military.
Veterans and Active Military Personnel
The heart and soul of America’s Parade are the veterans and active military personnel who march proudly down Fifth Avenue. Their presence allows the public to connect on a personal level with those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom.
Recognition of Medal of Honor Recipients
America’s Parade also serves as an occasion to recognize and honor Medal of Honor recipients. These courageous individuals are acknowledged for their unwavering bravery and selflessness in the face of danger. Their presence in the parade serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by our military members.
In conclusion, America’s Parade in New York City is a cherished and time-honored tradition that pays tribute to our veterans and currently serving military. It holds immense historical significance, commemorating the armistice of World War I, and serves as a day to honor all American veterans. With its grandeur and magnitude, America’s Parade showcases the deep respect and appreciation for those who have sacrificed so much for our country. New York City, as the host of this monumental event, stands as a symbol of patriotism and gratitude.