Thursday, November 12, 2009

It Was A Good Day ~ It Was A Great Parade!

The Veteran's Day Parade has been organized in New York City since 1929. Over 20,000 people participate in the parade each year. I've read that this parade is the largest Veteran's Day Parade in the nation. And, happily, it still draws attention, as crowds lined the streets to applaud and cheer our Veteran's. The Veteran's Day Commemoration begins with a wreath laying ceremony at 10:00 A.M. at the Eternal Flame in Madison Square Park and with the parade beginning at 11:00 A.M.

This year the Navajo Code Talkers, whose code confounded the Japanese during World War II were represented for the first time. Thirteen of these Navajo Code Talkers participated in the New York City parade. I think their story is fascinating and if anyone is interested in learning more about them you can find information here.

Jayden and I started our day by taking the bus into Manhattan, we got into the city early because we were going to view the Intrepid and also The USS New York before the parade. I'll write more about the ships in another post.
But suffice it to say that Jayden's little legs did lots and lots of walking! We got off the bus on 48th Street and 6th Avenue, and we had to walk the long city blocks from there to 46th Street and 12th Avenue. Once we got there Jayden was very excited seeing the ships, and he wanted to run right onto the Intrepid, I told him we first had to purchase tickets, and when he saw the lines (that stretched for blocks and blocks) he decided he didn't want to wait!
That was fine with me because I wanted to get back across town to see the parade. When I told Jayden about the parade he had visions of Disney parades, I explained to him that there would be no Mickey Mouse in this parade and he said then that he just wanted to go home, but as we neared the parade area he got caught up in the revelry of the crowds and he got very excited at the sight of the Military vehicles, the soldiers parading by, and the marching bands. We walked along the parade route, stopping at each corner to join in the cheering.

As we were making our way down to Madison Square Park Ray called to say that he was on his way up to meet us, which made Jayden very happy (he got to ride on Grandpa's shoulders the rest of the way, before that he had asked me, "Umma, what do you want to do? Do you want to carry me, or put me on your shoulders? Or do you just want me to walk?" My answer, "I want you to walk.")! It was a little hard to meet up with Ray what with the crowds of people on every block, but after a few phone calls back and forth we spotted each other and made our way down to the park together. (Oh! And Jayden spotted Lord & Taylor's window displays which were already decorated for Christmas! They were beautiful and I'll post more about them along with other city sights next week.)

Jayden got to enjoy the playground in Madison Square Park ...

...and his Mom was even able to meet us for a little while on her lunch hour...

...and we got to see more of the parade too before heading to eat and then hopping the bus home!

These horses were so good waiting hours for their turn to march!

A lot of schools participated in the parade. Here marchers and bands practice before setting out.

I'm sorry that the batteries on the camera died because it really was a great parade and there was so much more that I would have liked to capture.
But, in spite of that, it really was a good day!


  1. It was really fun to "do" the parade via your pictures. I like parades. We even have an annual one here in our little home town that goes right in front of our house! We sit on the porch and invite our friends to join us for the annual Harlan Day Parade.

    The ships sound exciting; and I can't wait to see the windows decked out for Christmas!

  2. Eileen, Jayden is so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents, it looks like it was a wonderful day....I would love to be able to take a tour of that ship although I think I would be emotional knowing where the steel came from....luv ya......big hugs to Jayden and Mia.......:-) Hugs

  3. Looks like such a great parade! I love parades!


  4. Beautiful shots, Eileen...and I love the music that you put with your blogs.
    I'm so glad that you and your family were able to attend this parade....
    I've never been in New York City (except to change planes...)
    Have a lovely weekend...
    Hugs from Jackie


    Oh such a wonderful event and memory for Jayden to add to his 'story' - you are a wonderful "Umma" :-) And "thank you" for taking me to the parade with you and yours - I SO enjoyed it.

    Love you

  6. Eileen, this looks absolutely wonderful! Just seeing a glimpse of those soliders marching down the street is awesome...makes me want to cry...I am so proud and grateful for them! You are so cute about Jayden walking...he does look a little too heavy for grandma to carry! What a wonderful thing that you live there in New York! I've never been there, but would love to visit, even if just for a day...I felt as I was there with you...oh to see those Christmas displays in the windows! When I was a child in Chicago, we always took the "L" downtown to see the mechanical santas and reindeer...such great memories...Jayden will have them too!

    Love your new blog look!

    Have a great Friday...God bless!


  7. Oh Eileen I love parades so much! What a wonderful experience for Jayden. You know he is so fortunate to be with you and Ray. You two show him so many things and experience wonderful opportunities! This is why God chose you and Ray to care for him. He is such a lucky, lucky Boy.
    And you and Ray are wonderful in all that you do for him. God bless you all!
    Love Di

  8. How wonderful that you paid such sweet homage to your veterans this way, Eileen! And I'm so happy you took Jayden with you. This will leave an impression in his little heart, and that is a good thing.

    I read about the code workers years ago, but I am going to go back and have a look at this again.

    Love you...


    Sheila :-)

  9. I remember going with my grandmother on a bus with my grandmaother when I was a little girl. I had so much fun and have never forgotten those outings with her. Eileen you are creating such wonderful memories for your grandchildren! I would have loved to see that parade. I bet it was awesome! Just being in NYC must have been an awesome experience. Great post! Thanks for sharing the pictures too.

  10. It was great seeing Madison Square Park up close and personal. I've heard of that all of my life but have never been there. And then to see Jayden playing there....sort of like being there myself.
    Funny how he gave you a choice about carrying him on your shoulders or having him walk!! :)
    I can't imagine being in a place with such tall buildings. That is very foreign to me.