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.
City officials and New York politicians lead the march, here is Mayor Bloomberg with Senator Schumer.
Marchers often look serious — this is called military 'bearing,' and is a mark of a well-trained trooper.
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.
Children bearing the pictures and names of soldiers from World War II are always a big contingent at the parade.
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.
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.
Junior ROTC and ROTC units were out in full force as well, to show support for the organisations they hope to join.
This former Marines draws his NCO sword. The Marine Corps NCO sword is the longest serving sword of any service.
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.
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