Big, Beautiful Pictures Of New York's Moving Veterans Day March

Veterans Day Parade 2011, NYC, Military, November 11, 2011, bi, DNG

Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Today, November 11, over 20,000 participants came together to honour America’s military service men and women. The parade, an annual tradition, began at 10 AM with a memorial ceremony and then commenced from Madison Square Park at 23rd St up Fifth Avenue until 43rd St.The parade is an opportunity for people to honour U.S. Veterans. It is also used by Veteran and Military groups and advocacy organisations to communicate some of their top priorities and key messages to a large audience. Many speakers and signs focused on the need to provide jobs and support to veterans and to remember to honour them not just on Veterans Day.

It was an emotional day and the parade was stunning.

In case you missed it, we got lots of pics.

The day began with a memorial service.

The Master of Ceremonies for the service.

Nicholas Oresko, the oldest living recipient of the Congressional Medal of honour was a special guest.

A veteran in full uniform.

A female veteran stands as the ceremony begins.

Men prepare to march with flags during the ceremony.

There were a few motorcycle contingents in the parade, here is one member at the opening ceremony.

Everyone was looking for good pictures.

The military band was on hand to play.

At attention during the National Anthem.

David Petraeus (centre) was among the honored guests.

A veteran watches the ceremony.

Senator Chuck Schumer was among the speakers.

Members of the Navajo Code Talkers, a unit in WWII.

He watches intently.

There were wreaths with different unit names (and sponsor logos) around Madison Square Park.

This Vietnam vet, Sandy Mac found the wreath for his VVA Chapter.

And after the ceremony, the parade.

New York City was strongly represented.

One of the many bagpipe players in the parade.

Birthday hats for the Marines.

And of course there were lots of American flags.

And lots of thank you signs.

There were a few motorcycle contingents.

And some amazing cars.

Look, it's Elvis in the back seat!

But let us not forget this is a serious day.

Soldiers marched in uniforms and looked serious.

This man watched the parade in full FDNY regalia.

Here he is from the front.

The marchers were neatly attired.

And focused.

Military units marched in lockstep.

But that didn't mean they were moving slowly.

These students bore signs with pictures of fallen soldiers.

Some were very young.

Corporate sponsors didn't hesitate to use the parade to promote their work for veterans.

Chase is a big supporter of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, which strives to create jobs for veterans.

These are veterans who work on Wall Street.

The crowds were huge.

And the parade moved on up Fifth Ave.

The Flag of Heroes.

Gold star Families who have lost family members in combat.

A somber float.

There were also many, many high school marching bands in attendance.

The Korean Veterans had a cultural group join them to perform.

And a lot of bagpipe groups.

It is definitely a look.

But it is not easy work.

Of course there were big military vehicles.

These guys arguably had the worst job on the parade line.

People even watched from inside Starbucks.

And along the parade line.

Veterans who had lost the use of their legs were riding in cycles.

US flags were being handed out everywhere.

The Wounded Warrior Project had a strong presence.

This girl was marching with them.

Old school cars.

Young beauty queens were also on hand.

The Tuskegee Airmen were well represented.

They had special guest Cuba Gooding Jr. with them.

And the crowd lit up when they saw him.

Many different groups were represented.

This guy was just covered in American spirit.

These debutantes were rushing to the ball.

This girl marched even with a broken arm.

The Daily News and the Thank You Movement.

Police kept the crowds orderly, but even they couldn't stop the cold.

Some people got dressed up for the occasion.

Miss USA even dropped by.

Navy units.

Riders in honour of 9-11.

Some older veterans watched the parade.

While younger recruits march forward.

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