Despite their struggles, a new Bronx veterans parade group, composed of former service members, will soldier on in time for next month’s march.
The annual Bronx Veterans Day Parade in West Farms is set for Saturday, November 1 at noon with formation beginning a hour earlier. It will be hosted by the Bronx Veterans Parade Task Team, Inc., a newly founded, non-profit organization. Resource Tables will be set up inside of Vidalia Park, located on E. 180th Street, at 9 a.m. for marching groups to sign up. Registration is required.
TBVPTT was founded earlier this year by a group of Bronx veterans. TBVPTT was created by veterans to honor their fellow service members. Working closely with the Bronx Veterans Parade Committee, TBVPTT seeks to create a successful parade meant to honor those who gave so much.
Robert Walker, acting president, inherited the position after his predecessor was forced to resign due to legal issues. Walker was vice president at the time and was nominated acting president in absentia. He has served in this position since July. Despite troubles plaguing his predecessor, Walker spoke positively of the former president, saying he had done a lot to help organize the group. Walker is also very proud of his entire team.
The annual parade will feature veterans, service members, local elected officials, community leaders, service organizations, marching bands, and many associated participants. Walker explained that TBVPTT has reached out to many groups, but is still waiting to hear back from some.
He has confirmed that a few motorcycle groups will join them in the parade.
Walker revealed the main objective in this parade is to raise community awareness of the sacrifices and ongoing needs returning veterans experience after their homecoming.
“We want to show everyone at the parade how much the Bronx veterans have made as a contribution to the military and that they are being fully recognized for being part of America,” explained Walker.
“I think they get the message. Many of them have spouses or children that have served and I think that many of us civilians are happy that the war is finally over.”
A Vietnam veteran, Walker and his brother both served in the navy during the final stages of the war and were part of the crew aboard the naval aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Enterprise. Frequently, Walker and his brother witnessed battle-scarred military aircrafts returning from combat.
The one mile annual parade route starts on Southern Boulevard from E. 175th heading north before turning right onto E. 180th Street continuing to the West Farm Soldiers Cemetery where a brief memorial service will be held.
Flags will be placed upon service members’ graves in honor of their bravery, service, and sacrifice for our nation.
Following this service, the parade will proceed into Vidalia Park to mark its conclusion. Here, refreshments, resource information, and screenings will be readily available to promote healthier living and better quality of life to individuals as well as families. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
Walker said that there will be live entertainment scheduled after the parade. One artist scheduled to perform is Carmen Nieves, an aspiring English and Spanish singer and songwriter. If you wish to participate at this parade, RSVP at TBVPT