A caravan of 100 vintage jeeps, private cars and other vehicles paraded down New York’s Fifth Avenue before dawn Wednesday in a socially distant Veterans Day observance.
The early morning car caravan was held in lieu of the parade that usually marks Veterans Day in New York, due to the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Navy officials laid wreaths at Madison Square Park’s eternal light flagstaff at 6 a.m. before reviewing the car parade.
A ceremony was planned later Wednesday at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the former aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. Speakers at the invitation-only ceremony included Mayor Bill de Blasio and representatives from the museum and the Navy.
The ceremony was scaled back compared to previous years, but still featured a wreath laying and rifle salute. Many members of the NYPD helped participate in the day's events, which is only fitting as about 4,000 members of the department are military veterans.
Across the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that landmarks including One World Trade Center, The Oculus, Grand Central Terminal, Niagara Falls and more would be lit in red, white and blue in recognition of the holiday.
"We owe the men and women who have so bravely served in our nation's military an incredible debt of gratitude and our utmost respect," Cuomo said. "As we reflect, let us never forget the courage, patriotism and determination shown by our veteran's as they answered the call to protect and defend the United States of America. We thank them for their service on this day and always."