West Farms Veterans Day Parade marches on

Guy Richardson (l) and Christine Ryall of the Theodore Korony American Legion Post 253 lead the way at last year’s West Farms Veterans Day Parade.
File Photo

Bronx civilians and veterans alike will salute our borough’s brave former and current service members at next month’s Veterans Day Parade in West Farms.

Hosted by the Bronx Veterans Parade Task Team, the annual Bronx Veterans Day Parade in West Farms is set for Saturday, November 7 at noon with formation beginning a hour earlier.

According to James Wilson, TBVPTT president and Vietnam War Army veteran, resource tables will be set up inside of Vidalia Park, located on East 180th Street, at 9 a.m. for marching groups to sign up. Registration is required.

Founded in early 2014, TBVPTT, a non-profit organization founded by a group of Bronx veterans, seeks to have another successful parade honoring our nation’s heroes and will feature veterans, service members, local elected officials, community leaders, service organizations, marching bands and many associated participants coming together to pay tribute to them.

Wilson said Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., a Vietnam War Army veteran who joined the United States Armed Forces in 1960 and proudly served until completing his tour of duty with a Honorable Discharge in 1963, will serve as grand marshal for the parade.

Keeping with tradition, the one mile route starts at at East 175th Street and Crotona Parkway, then heads north before turning right onto East 180th Street, continuing to the West Farms Soldiers Cemetery where a brief memorial service will be conducted.

Flags will be placed upon service members’ graves in honor of their bravery, service and sacrifice for our nation.

“I feel that as a veteran, we couldn’t let the lives of our veterans who served go unhonored,” said Robert Walker, TBVPTT vice president and Vietnam War Navy veteran. “We wanted to have those who sacrificed their lives to protect ours recognized and this parade and memorial service makes people more aware of this day’s true purpose.”

Following this service, the parade will continue to Vidalia Park where an awards ceremony starts at 2 p.m. to honor two veterans.

William Robertson, a World War II Army veteran and Sergeant Israel Lugo Jorge, a Vietnam War veteran and TBVPTT executive member, will be recognized for their military service, Wilson said.

Walker added participants and guests can partake in refreshments; listen to live musical performances from Renee Marie Testa, Elaina Makris, Shishy and Robert Walker; collect resource information and participate in health screenings promoting healthier living.

“This parade is a great way for our community to see that there are veterans still around in our neighborhoods who are concerned for their fellow veterans and civilians and want to show their full support,” said Wilson. “Volunteers, both veterans and civilians, have been calling us every week to help get involved in this parade and we are expecting this to be a very successful event this year.”

“We can use as much help as we can get with this parade and we welcome anyone who wishes to volunteer to help us properly honor our borough’s veterans,” said Walker.

Wilson confirmed TBVPTT is still needs more volunteers to help and support their annual parade.

If interested in participating, contact Wilson at (718) 682-6154, Sergeant Jorge at (347) 750-3366 or email TBVPTTinc@aol.com by Wednesday, November 4.

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