This year’s borough veterans parade will pay special tribute to women who serve their nation.
Nine women veterans will serve as grand marshals for the 28th Annual Bronx Veterans Parade on Sunday, Nov. 18.
The parade will take a new route this year, stepping off at noon from Lafayette and E. Tremont avenues and proceeding to Randall Avenue, turning left and wending its way over the Throgs Neck Expressway. It will then go right at the reviewing stand for ceremonies in front of Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park.
The United Veterans’ Day Parade Committee of Greater New York chose the theme of “honoring women veterans,” with nine from all service branches, and from World War II to today: Colleen McCarthy, Rosa Kellogg, Isolina Esposito, Wendi Carpenter, Patrice Sweeting, Jeanette Martin, Juliana Oliver, Holly Campbell, and Hattie Harris.
Parade committee chairman Mike Rahilly said selecting the grand marshal involved choosing both the theme and deciding to highlight women from all five branches of the service for both their work in the military and for advocacy for veterans.
“I think we really succeeded in covering the complete story of women in the military and their contributions,” said Rahilly.
The new route solves problems caused by a city mandate to shorten parade routes. Instead of stepping off at Lawton Avenue, it steps off at Lafayette because many local veterans wanted to see the parade end at Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park, said Rahilly.
At the reviewing stand, each community group marching will be recognized, with speeches by military leaders, elected officials, and each of the grand marshals.
Grand Marshal Jeanette Martin of Sedgwick Avenue, who served in the Air Force and Army Reserve, said she would highlight sacrifices made by female veterans.
“I am very excited because being a female veteran gives me the opportunity to be a role model for younger women in the military,” she said.
The parade plays a tremendous part in boosting the morale of all the participants who are serving or have served their country, said Rahilly.
“We are asking people to take two to three hours of one Sunday and really make an effort to support our veterans and the military.”
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393