decorationAmerica’s Paradedecoration

Each year, New York City’s Fifth Avenue is lined by hundreds of thousands of spectators to honor the service of veterans and to salute our currently serving military.

World War II veterans ride on a float during the 2018 Veterans Day Parade in New York City, Nov. 11, 2018.
Marines and sailors march past the New York Public Library during the 2018 Veterans Day Parade in New York City, Nov. 11, 2018.

It’s said to be the largest Veterans Day Parade in the world. The New York City Veterans Day Parade is also the oldest, dating back to 1919.

Parade Sights

New York City hosted the first parade to honor veterans on Sept. 10, 1919. The march known as the Victory Parade welcomed home Army Gen. John J. Pershing and 25,000 soldiers.

It was at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 that the Allies of World War I and Germany signed the armistice to cease hostilities and eventually end “the war to end all wars.”

7 Facts About WWI
A vet
A vet
A vet
A vet

Who Is a Veteran?

Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines a veteran as: a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Veterans Through the Years

2018 At a Glance

Grand Marshal: Medal of Honor RecipientArmy Capt. Florent Groberg
Participants: 25,000+
Marching Elements: 300+
Floats & Vehicles: 180+
The Parade will start at 5th & 26th and proceed north to 5th and 46.

Parade Route

The parade goes north on Fifth Avenue, from 26th to 46th Street. The route is 1.2 miles, and takes approximately 30 ~ 35 minutes.

Color guard stands at attention

Preparing to March

Members of the Army Reserve’s 80th Training Command color guard are among the participants in the 2018 parade. During World War I and World War II, the unit was designated the 80th Infantry Division.

A sergeant standing in a park
 

Army Staff Sgt.Son-Joi Brantley

Human Resources Specialist

I'm so excited that I actually got selected to be part of the color guard. My family is here watching the parade, so that makes it even more exciting.

A sergeant stands next to flag
 

Army Staff Sgt.Nicholas Orlick

Software Analyst

I love the fact that my family has made incredible contributions to our nation's military. I think about how I'm part of an organization that was so big during World War I.

A sergeant stands next to flag
 

Army Sgt. 1st ClassSean Caldwell

Information Systems Technician

I remember Grandpa Caldwell telling me stories of his service during the Vietnam War. Marching in this parade is an amazing opportunity for me, and I feel that I'm representing my grandfather here.

80ID in WWI & II

Parades Through the Years

How Veterans Day Came to Be

Armistice celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Nov. 11, 1918
Armistice celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Nov. 11, 1918. Courtesy of The U.S. National Archives.

Fighting ceases between the Allied nations and Germany on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Red Cross float for Armistice Day parade, Belleville, Kansas.
Red Cross float for Armistice Day parade, Belleville, Kansas, Nov 11, 1919. Courtesty of The Library of Congress.

President Woodrow Wilson proclaims November 11 as the first anniversary of Armistice Day to honor World War I veterans.

Armistice Day, Chief of Chaplains at Tomb of Unknown, Nov.11, 1926
Armistice Day, Chief of Chaplains at Tomb of Unknown, Nov.11, 1926 The Library of Congress.

Congress passes a resolution for an annual observance.

Armistice Day parade, Omaha, Nebraska, Nov. 11, 1938
Armistice Day parade, Omaha, Nebraska, Nov. 11, 1938. The Library of Congress.

Armistice Day becomes a federal holiday honoring all living American veterans. Memorial Day honors the fallen.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day, June 1, 1954.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day, June 1, 1954. Courtest ofDVIDS.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower changes the name to Veterans Day to honor veterans from all eras.

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act
The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day to designated Mondays, increasing the number of 3-day weekends for Federal Employees. Courtesty of The U.S. National Archives.

Congress moved the holiday to the fourth Monday in October.

Sketch of President Gerald Ford by artist Miriam Troop
Sketch of President Gerald Ford by artist Miriam Troop, 1975. Courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery.

President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11 due to its historical significance.

 
  • 1918

  • 1919

  • 1926

  • 1938

  • 1954

  • 1968

  • 1975

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