The Veterans Day Parade returned to New York's Fifth Avenue on Thursday after being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
The 102nd annual parade featured marching units, vintage military vehicles and elected officials including Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“It is a day to remember and to honor, but it should be the first day of what then becomes 365 days of honoring veterans through real actions,” the Democratic mayor said at a ceremony in Madison Square Park that kicked off the Veterans Day observance.
De Blasio added, “If anywhere in this city, if anywhere in this country there is a homeless veteran, then we are not finished. We all have more to do. If anywhere there is a veteran suffering from a mental health challenge who is not getting the help he or she needs, we are not finished.”
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The parade was replaced by a socially distant pre-dawn car caravan in 2020, making this year's parade the first with supporters since 2019.
New York. Gov. Kathy Hochul was also present for the ceremonies, which included a wreath ceremony and a 21-gun salute. Hochul pledged new unemployment benefits to military spouses — as she reflected about her uncle, a Vietnam veteran.
"They did not receive the hero's welcome they deserved. I'll spend all my living days tying to rectify that national blight on our history," Hochul said.