Generally Speaking: Week of November 8

November 7, 2012 Theodore W. General
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Nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade

New York City’s 93rd annual Veterans Day Parade takes place this coming Sunday, November 11, starting at 11:15 a.m., along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan from 26th to 56th Streets. This year’s grand marshal is former Mayor Ed Koch

Sponsored by the United War Veterans Council of New York and led by Vietnam-era Marine Corps Veteran Vince McGowan, the council president, and fellow Vietnam veteran Patrick GuiltierUnited We Stand.Featured military service for the 2012 parade will be the U.S. Coast Guard, the nation’s oldest seagoing service.

According to parade organizers,the main mission for the parade is to honor the service veterans and to salute our current armed forces serving here and around the world. The march dates back to 1919 when the national holiday was known as Armistice Day, commemorating victory in World War I. Parade officials will also be heralding thebicentennial ofthe War of 1812, the 50th anniversary of Vietnam, and the 150th anniversary of the Purple Heart medal.

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In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill changing the name from Armistice to Veterans Day. The reviewing grandstand will be located in front of the steps to the New York Public Library, at 41st Street and Fifth Avenue.

Among the participating marching units will be the Fort Hamilton High School U.S. Army Junior ROTC Color Guard and cadet brigade headed by Lieutenant Colonel Lee Anderson

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After super storm Sandy hit the area, CERT1NYC was out and about with team members from the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst contingent to help with coordination at the Public School 187 evacuation shelter, do tree-down assessments of trees blocking streets, help deliver and distribute supplies to areas of Staten Island, Gerritsen Beach and the Rockaways, work at the FDR High School evacuation shelter, at the OEM command and satellite logistics center, and help provide security for children taking part in the 17th annual Haunted Halloween Walk and Fairytale Forest which was rescheduled from October 31 to November 3.

Due to rescheduling, colder weather and problems traveling to and from Owl’s Head Park, site of the Halloween Walk, it was a somewhat scaled-down version of previous events. Nonetheless, the youngsters that did attend had a terrific time and had their choice of a dozen inflatable amusement rides andrides on a carnival-type train.Older kids and adults passed through the haunted village, constructed by volunteers young and old, under the aegis of master Bay Ridge event planner Chip Cafiero.

While at the walk, we saw dozen of downed trees that were cordoned off by caution tape in other areas of the park. One of the magnificent trees dating back to when the property and estate was owned by former Brooklyn City Mayor and later State Senator Henry Murphy was left as a tall standing hunk minus branches and limbs, having succumbed to the high and feisty winds of Sandy.

On Sunday, after the storm, we had an opportunity to trek by bus to the storm distribution centerset up by FEMA and the city behind New Dorp High School in Staten Island. We traveled over the Verrazano Bridge via the S79 Bus along Hylan Boulevard, a major Staten Island thoroughfare. Here it was Sunday, November 4, six days later and still the power for residences, businesses and the traffic signals was still out.

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