What to know about NYC’s 2023 Veterans Day Parade
The country’s largest Veterans Day commemoration takes place in New York City this Saturday. On November 11, the 104th annual Veterans Day Parade kicks off with 20,000 marchers and 150+ vehicles traveling up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in honor of the military. This year’s parade starts at 9:30 a.m. from 26th Street and Fifth Avenue and moves north until ending at 47th Street. The Army is this year’s featured service.
New York City’s first parade honoring veterans took place on September 10, 1919, in commemoration of the end of World War I. The parade, known as the Victory Parade, welcomed home General John J. Pershing, the commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), along with 25,000 soldiers who served under his command.
The parade continued to be hosted annually by the American Legion, following the same route on Fifth Avenue. However, in 1968 when soldiers returned home from the Vietnam War, they realized they weren’t receiving the same enthusiastic homecoming that veterans of the country’s previous wars had experienced. As 6sqft reported, the 1973 Home with Honor Parade through Times Square was barely covered by any of the country’s media.
In 1986, a Vietnam vet named Vince McGowan formed the United War Veterans Council, an organization devoted to honoring all of America’s veterans, regardless of which war they fought in.
This year, Lieutenant General Mike Linnington, CEO of the Wounded Warrior Project, will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal. Mike led troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and since retiring has devoted his time to serving veterans.
“I am deeply honored to be chosen as this year’s Veteran’s Day Parade Grand Marshal,” said LTG Linnington. “The 20th anniversaries of the War in Iraq and the Wounded Warrior Project call attention to the ongoing needs of veterans and their families who face a lifetime of visible and invisible wounds. All veterans deserve a successful and meaningful civilian life. I am proud to celebrate all the veterans who have served our nation, especially those in need of ongoing support.”
Those interested in watching the parade are encouraged to take public transportation to avoid the traffic caused by road closures. You can take the R, W, and 6 subway lines to 23rd Street near Madison Square Park for the kick-off, and take the B, D, F, or N trains at the Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal stations at the end of the parade’s route.
The Department of Transportation has announced the following street closures for the duration of the parade:
- 24th & 25th Street between 6th Avenue and 5th Avenue
- 26th – 29th Street between 6th Avenue and Madison Avenue
- 5th Avenue between 23rd Street and 26th Street
- Broadway between 23rd Street and 29th Street
- 5th Avenue between 26th Street and 45th Street
- 45th Street between Madison Avenue and 6th Avenue
This year’s Veterans Day Parade honors a few key anniversaries, including:
- 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War
- 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of combat units from Vietnam
- 40th anniversary of the Beirut Barracks Bombing in Lebanon and the Grenada Invasion
- 30th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia
Spectators can view the parade on Fifth Ave, from 27th Street to its endpoint at 47th Street. The parade will also be broadcast live on TV and online via WABC.