American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong will join two past national commanders and the adjutant of the Department of New York in a weekend of honor for those who have served the nation in uniform. Wong will ride in the United War Veterans Council Veterans Day Parade in New York on 11/11/11.
At 8 a.m. (EST), prior to the parade, Wong, along with Past National Commanders Ronald F. Conley of Pennsylvania and John "Jake" Comer of Massachusetts, New York Department Adjutant Richard Pedro and Public Relations Commission Chairman Robert Morrill, will ring the opening bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange as guests of Sears Holdings. And a 10 a.m. wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Flame in Madison Square Park will be followed by the parade itself at 11 a.m.
The parade, coordinated by the United War Veterans Council, begins on Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street and continues along Fifth Avenue to 56th Street. The parade can be viewed live online from anywhere at www.vetsday.org , and local TV affiliate Fox 5 will broadcast the parade live regionally. More than 25,000 spectators are expected to line Fifth Avenue for the event.
Participants will include a variety of marchers, floats and marching bands, active-duty officers, veterans groups, junior ROTC members, and the families of veterans. It will showcase 27 active military units from all branches, six Medal of Honor recipients and high school bands from around the nation. The Medal of Honor participants include the oldest living recipient, Nick Oresko, who received his for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge; and the newest recipient, Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who received his for his actions in Afghanistan (watch for the December issue of The American Legion Magazine, which profiles Meyer during a visit to his Kentucky hometown).
This year's event also includes special recognition of the 100th anniversary of naval aviation, the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack and the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War.
Commander Wong will participate in ceremonies and parades to honor veterans on Saturday in Chinatown, with a parade starting at 12:30 p.m. (EST), and on Sunday in the Bronx.