Home > My Everyday Life > Veteran’s Day NYC 2010

Veteran’s Day NYC 2010

Googlers manning the tent

My new favorite day is Veteran’s Day from here on out, period. No longer does Halloween or St. Patty’s day or even my birthday(I may change my mind about this year’s bday since I turn 30) have the same amount of energy as this day does for me. Hell this Veteran’s week has been a real eye-opener for me. Its made me truly appreciative for the life I lead and the people that I get to call my friends along with my brothers and sisters in arms. I dont even think that this bit of writing can put into words the spectrum of emotion I have seen and experienced in this past seven days, but I’ll give it a whirl!

0800 at the Flatiron Building came really early, but I met some vets on the Path train in who were way more chipper than I and this gave me a little kickindapantalones. Upon arriving, the tent was already up, the Googlers were in place and team IAVA was in full effect. Cold like the dickens but the coffee was flowing and so were the the dog nuts, I mean doughnuts. Thankfully the cops didnt find out, ha! We passed out hand warmers, took lots of pictures, shared stories, and made some new friends (what up Mike from an hour north in NY!).

Medal of Honor recipient Bud Bucha

Bud Bucha, Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient, came over and spoke to the IAVA crowd about us being the “Next Greatest Generation.” It was an honor to have this man, who has seen his share of hardships, pay us such a compliment. The parade began with the wreath laying ceremony and speakers from all wars including the Republic of Korea’s kids choir who sang God Bless America in tribute of the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War.

After all this it was on to the staging area at 28th and 5th where we had a 5-ton waiting and over 300 IAVA vets prepared to march. We watched the parade flow by in order of generation and jumped in at the end. What an unbelievable honor to get to experience this first hand. To be able to march in this parade, the nation’s largest AND to have it televised for the first time, was more than I can even describe in words. Stepping out onto 5th Ave in “formation” (if that’s what we could call it) was simply surreal. I have walked and skated this street numerous times, but never with people lining the streets and yelling thank you. All of these people braving the cold with signs of appreciation and screaming thanks was a feeling that will forever be burned into my soul. It brought back memories of my first deployment and coming home. It reminded me of the fanfare and the gambit of emotion. It reminded me of seeing Suzanne for the first time in all those months and having her give me the biggest, most genuine hug I probably have ever received.

Lining 5th Ave for 30 blocks, thank you

The city and 5th Ave took on a new look. It all seemed to shine brighter, look cleaner, and feel more refreshing. Like this parade was yet another rejuvenating breath for NYC and all its people. Maybe a little much with that, but it felt like that to me. We laughed as we walked, cried as we walked, waved and gave our thanks right back to all those that lined the streets. I saluted veterans of other wars and was saluted by 5 year olds, the range of respect was overwhelming at times. Its such a far cry from what the media writes, the death tolls that it places on every ticker. This was the epitome of real America spirit and pride in country and I could not get enough.

We walked the red carpet between 41st and 42nd on 5th right in front of the NY Public Library and ended the march on 55th. We huddled in for a group shot and then were treated to a youth “step” band that absolutely shook the concrete. These kids were dancing, leaning/rocking all while playing the drums and cymbals. I have a video that has to be 5 minutes long of these kids just cranking and capturing the crowd.

From there it was on to Providence Night Club for our after-party. Great food, Miller High Life, speeches, and fellowship with NYC vets and vets from the surrounding areas. Just another good time provided free of charge by IAVA. It just seems to be getting better and better.

some guy singing Creeds "Higher." Dork...

The party came and went, we packed up the place, then hoofed it to McGees for a little employee down time with our friends Bass Ale and Tequila! Nothing too crazy, except for some guy singing Creed’s “Higher” on the bar upstairs because he cant keep his mouth shut and makes stupid claims. Other than some guy doing that, it was a great way to unwind with the crew outside of the office, gala, and parade. Cheers to all that made this day possible. Thanks for showing me why Veteran’s Day is now truly my favorite day, period.

  1. November 19, 2010 at 08:00

    • November 19, 2010 at 09:17

      Nick you always add value to my ramblings. How could I forget to include this video?

  1. November 19, 2010 at 13:25

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