'UNITED WE STAND': Moving Scenes From NYC's Veteran's Day Parade

veteran's day parade 2012 nyc, veterans, military, defence, bi, dng. nov 2012

Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Over 25,000 marchers and 600,000 spectators gathered in Manhattan along 5th Avenue between 25th and 56th St. for this year’s Veteran’s Day Parade. The New York City event, is the biggest Veteran’s Day parade in the nation and is televised nationally. This year’s theme “United We Stand” held special significance for New York as it continues its recovery from Hurricane Sandy. The National Guard and many veterans have been involved in relief efforts.

The parade this year marks the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, and the 150th of the Medal of honour, and it is also part of the ongoing Department of defence Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.

It was a moving day and impressive spectacle.

The parade marches up Fifth Avenue from 23rd St.

City officials and New York politicians lead the march, here is Mayor Bloomberg with Senator Schumer.

Young ROTC members wait near Madison Park to get started.

There are many US Flags around the parade and some are carried by parade marchers.

As Marines wait to hear the order to march, they stand at the position of 'parade rest.'

It is a somber day of remembrance as well as a celebration of our armed forces.

A younger participant watches before entering the parade.

The NYPD is strongly represented among marchers.

Happy Birthday Marines! The Marine Corps turned 237 on Saturday Nov. 10.

Military members in the crowd salute their brothers and sisters in arms.

There are no shortage of flags at the parade as tons are handed out.

One ended up here.

Marchers often look serious — this is called military 'bearing,' and is a mark of a well-trained trooper.

Each service has a band as well.

Complete with drum lines and brass sections, military bands are often the centre of attention.

Scottish bag pipe groups are common throughout the parade — a lot of pipe bands who represent police and firefighters come out to play for vets.

A young boy examines his grandfather's outfit.

But they have to move as the leader shouts march.

A couple of relics from the past.

Traditional garb.

With some antique medals.

Vintage cars are a must.

The Navajo Code Talkers were an elite unit of Native American's who served during World War II.

They helped transmit coded messages using Native American languages.

There are many supporters along the route.

Many veterans we saw were puffing away on the beautiful fall day.

The Bronx Vet centre.

Many high school marching bands are part of the parade.

Disabled veteran's are well represented.

A sightseeing bus put to the use of veteran's who have lost their sight.

The Nam Knights.

There are some big guns along the route.

Children bearing the pictures and names of soldiers from World War II are always a big contingent at the parade.

Boy scouts helped hold their sign up.

Among the most enthusiastic of flag wavers, many kids dot the crowd.

Regardless of their scars, seen and unseen, veterans attending the event are all upbeat and friendly

Soldiers in World War I attire march in the parade. Some of them are veterans, some are enthusiasts.

The collective sound of several marching bands sets a military aura throughout the city.

Flag bearers head many of the groups. Handling of the flags is extremely precise, and also quite a painful experience.

They focus intently while marching, balancing the flags is very difficult, and it takes the utmost concentration to do so and march at the same time.

A little less painful, but painful still, is rifle manual, or 'manual at arms.' Rifle manual is a close order drill performance often seen in ceremonial functions.

Here's one patriot who was determined not to be bested by any of those flag waving kids.

Junior ROTC and ROTC units were out in full force as well, to show support for the organisations they hope to join.

Each of America's current allies are also represented in the parade.

Here is part of the Korean group.

This former Marines draws his NCO sword. The Marine Corps NCO sword is the longest serving sword of any service.

Young Air Force Airmen stand at the ready, waiting to receive their order to march.

The Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Association sets up a booth every year, hoping to attract new members and talk to as many vets as possible.

Women veterans have a strong presence.

Including a float with singers.

Some on motorcycles.

And kids look up in wonderment.

While spectators wave flags.

And others take pictures.

But by the end of the day most of the kids are pretty tired.

Not something you usually see during the parade, but hey, some vets still like to skateboard

We wave goodbye as we leave the parade.

Want to see how this compares to last year's parade?

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