The tradition of celebrating our nation's veterans began with Armistice Day celebrations on November 11, 1919, marking the end of World War One to welcome home U.S. troops returning from WWI. After World War II, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day, a day to honor and remember veterans from all eras of American history. Although public support of veterans waned in the 1970s and 1980s due to the controversy surrounding the Vietnam War, today the United War Veterans Council looks ahead to the approaching 100th anniversary which will take place in 2019.
The effort to support and celebrate our nation's veterans has been strengthened by post-9/11 veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
New York City Veterans Day Parade
Veteran's Day takes place on November 11 every year. Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day -- as both are holidays designed to honor people who have served in the U.S. Military. Veterans Day is intended to celebrate living people who have served in the military, while Memorial Day is a day to honor those who are no longer with us. Veterans Day is a federal holiday, so you'll usually find that banks and schools are closed, but most other businesses will be open. When November 11 falls on a Saturday, the holiday is typically observed on the Friday before (November 10) and when it falls on a Sunday it is typically observed on the Monday after (November 12.)
Essential Parade Information
The parade will take place on Saturday, November 11, 2017, beginning at 11:15 a.m. and lasting until approximately 3:30 p.m. The parade goes north on Fifth Avenue, from 26th to 52nd Street.
The route is 1.2 miles, and takes approximately 30-35 minutes.
There are a variety of marchers, floats and marching bands in the Veterans Day Parade. Participants include active officers, various veteran's groups, junior ROTC members, and the families of veterans. The parade includes active military units from all branches, Medal of Honor recipients, veterans groups and high school bands from around the nation.
The United War Veterans Council typically names one or more Grand Marshalls to lead the parade each year, in honor of their service.
The Veterans Day Parade has been organized in New York since 1929. Over 25,000 people participate in the parade each year, making it the largest in the nation. The parade is preceded by the traditional Opening Ceremony in Madison Square Park. A prelude featuring music and a flag presentation begins at 10:00 am; the formal ceremony begins at 10:15 AM. A wreath laying concludes the Eternal Light Monument at 11:00 AM (The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month).