Legionnaires from New York Post 1291 march in a Veterans Day parade. Photo by Jeff Stoffer

NYC Veterans Day parade expects 20,000

Department of New York Legionnaires will be well represented among the more than 20,000 participants in Wednesday's 90th Anniversary Veterans Day Parade in New York City.

As many as 750,000 spectators are expected to line the streets to witness the parade, which features the theme "Blessings of Liberty" and will include a slew of grand marshals: actor and World War II veteran Tony Curtis, Miss New York Alyse Zwick, Tuskegee Airman Roscoe Brown, and Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth Preston.

"There will be Legionnaires from, well, all over, actually, but basically from the New York County, Queens County, Richmond (County), Kings (County), and the First and Ninth District," said Legionnaire Frank F. Gee, adjutant for New York County and a member of Lt. B. R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291 in New York City. "It's the 90th birthday of Veterans Day, but it's also the 90th anniversary of The American Legion. So we figured we'd have a big celebration."

Nearly 3,000 servicemembers - the largest number in the parade in decades - will participate, as will several Navajo code talkers, ROTC and Junior ROTC units, high school marching bands from all over the country, and veterans of all military eras.

The parade's opening ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the Eternal Light Monument at Madison Square Park, while the parades starts at 11:15 a.m. and is expected to last until 3:30.

Prior to the opening ceremony, Gee and representatives from other veterans service organizations will attend a reception at Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office.