NYC's 92nd Annual Veterans Day Parade

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On 11/11/11, NYC’s 92nd Veterans Day Parade began at 11 a.m. More than 25,000 people marched up 5th Ave. to Central Park from Madison Square Park.

Veterans, active military, family members, high school bands from all over the nation and local colleges all marched alike. There was almost constant applause from the crowd.

Veterans from every branch and recent war were in the celebration, and many more vets were on the street sides cheering them on.

First Sargent Christopher Perkins of the 145th Surface Material Company National Guard stood with his sister at the corner of 44th street and 5th ave. While behind the temporary barriers, he had half a dozen military men break their march to come and shake his hand personally.

After recognizing First Sargent Perkins, one uniformed man said, “Come on man, get your a-- in here!” The First Sargent promised to meet up with his friend later that night and continued to watch.

“That man, actually him and the guy before him were both deployed with me to Iraq in 2005," Perkins said. "He introduced me to the woman who is now the mother of my son.”

The First Sergeant had been deployed twice to Iraq for a total of 20 months in 2005 and 2007.

“Thankfully, there were never any close calls,” Perkins said.

He also commented on how the light of every full moon let the enemy shoot mortars closer to American camp. The First Sargent shrugged this off as “harassment” that posed no real threat.

Perkins went on to say that he had just finished 20 years of service. “I was just looking for a skill, and it grew on me.”

The 145th Surface Material Company is based in Stanton Island and responded to the 9/11 attacks.

According to the United War Veteran’s website, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was given a “Moment of Rememberance” at 11:11 on Friday morning. The 50th Anniversary of the beginning of The Vietnam War 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation were also recognized.

CityNathan Deardorff