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Largest US Veterans Day parade returns to NYC for 103rd year

New York Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the 106th Rescue wing prepare to step off as part of the New York City Veteran's Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photos and videos by Maj. Michael O’Hagan)
November 07, 2022

The 103rd Annual New York City Veteran’s Day Parade — which is the largest event commemorating military service in the U.S. — is set to march up Fifth Avenue on Friday, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.

“We are excited to once again offer New Yorkers the opportunity to salute those who have served and defended our nation,” said United War Veterans Council (UWVC) President and Executive Director Mark Otto. “These brave men and women made great sacrifices to defend our country during critical moments in our nation’s history.”

UWVC is in charge of producing the New York City Veterans Day Parade. The parade is also sponsored by JP Morgan Chase & Co., Fiserv, T-Mobile, Wounded Warrior Project, Salesforce and Cushman & Wakefield.

The parade will feature 20,000 participants in 300 marching and vehicle units from across the U.S. Participants will include military service members, service organizations, student veterans, veteran employee groups youth cadets, marching bands, floats and vintage vehicles.

The Veteran’s Day Honor Ruck and the UWVC’s Health and Wellness marching contingent will also carry a 30×50-foot American flag along the parade route. Honor Flight, a non-profit organization which flies WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans to visit war memorials and honor their service, will also host a parade float with older veterans.

Vincent W. Patton, who served as the Eighth Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard from 1998 to 2002, will serve as the Grand Marshall for this year’s parade. Patton served in the Coast Guard for 30 years, becoming the first black service member to hold the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, the service’s highest enlisted rank.

“Vince Patton represents the very best of that spirit of service, and we are proud to have him as our Grand Marshall,” Otto said. “We are also proud to celebrate and thank our veterans from every era and branch of service at this year’s 103rd Veterans Day Parade.” 

The New York City Veterans Day Parade has run every year since 1919. The first such parade was held on Sept. 10, 1919, less than a full year after the Nov. 11, 1918 Armistice that brought an end to the First World War.

On Nov. 11, 1919, then-President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Armistice.

A number of holidays grew out of the annual recognition of Armistice Day. Some countries still celebrate Armistice Day as the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Among the United Kingdom and the nations in the British commonwealth, the day is celebrated as a Remembrance Day to honor those who died in the line of military service. In the United States, Veterans Day is celebrated in recognition of all U.S. military veterans.

The New York City Veterans Day Parade has continued to run the 103 years since the first event in 1919. The 2022 event will run from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., rain or shine.

Attendees can watch the parade along 5th Avenue. The parade steps off at 26th street and marches north to its endpoint on 47th Street. The parade will also be broadcast and livestreamed.