Honor those who have served; Access map, street closures and more

It’s one of the best ways to say thank you to our veterans – honoring them with a parade at the nation’s largest commemoration of service.

There will likely be 20,000 attendees from across America, representing every service branch of the military.

“I always wake up in the morning pinching myself, wanting to know when the dream is going to end,” this year’s Grand Marshal Vincent Patton III told CBS2.

Patton was the first black American to serve as Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer, the highest position for that branch of the military.

Coincidently, he has ties to CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.

“My dad was a Coast Guard pilot, he also served 30 years,” Hsu told Patton.

“I know him,” Patton replied. “We served together at headquarters.”

The three-hour parade begins at 12:30 p.m., descending at 26th Street and Fifth Avenue, marching to 45th Street, which means there will be plenty of blocked roads.

At CBS2, we’ve been honoring our veterans all week for their sacrifice and service. We were there for celebrate the 247th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps and the men and women who are part of it, retired and active.

“These proud Sailors and Marines serve our nation, and we have a responsibility to support them,” Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro said.

On Long Island, we were there when Nassau County officials hosted a tribute to some heroes who don’t always get the recognition they deserve – female veterans.

“It takes some bravery to join the armed forces, and it takes a lot of bravery to enlist when you’re a woman,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said.

We were also there when many paid tribute to World War II veterans and iconic Sherman tanks who helped win the war. These tanks are now 80 years old, and the veterans who drove them to victory are over 90 years old.

“It brings back a lot of memories. I spent days and nights,” said Jim Adreadis, a 96-year-old veteran, recalling driving through Germany. “It was tough for an 18-year-old, and I don’t know how I survived.”

The Grand Marshal said that as far as the rain today is concerned, everything will be fine. Since the Coast Guard is the service featured this year, they are used to getting wet and wouldn’t want it any other way.

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