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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
More than 75 registrants have signed up for the first-ever Philadelphia Veterans Parade on Sunday, Nov. 8, in Center City.
The Parade Committee is still accepting registrants past the Oct. 1 deadline. To register visit the parade web site: www.phillyveteransparade.org and complete the one-page online form.
Participation is open to all in the city and in the three-state region (PA/NJ/DE) for the parade, which will start at noon at S. Broad and Walnut streets.
This year’s Parade will focus on veterans though history. The Parade will also commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II, the 50th Anniversary of Vietnam and the 25th Anniversary of Desert Shield. The parade will feature veterans of all eras, military units, civic and youth groups (including Junior ROTC), businesses, and high school marching bands.
Any entity that supports veterans is encouraged to join the parade, said Scott Brown, director of the Philadelphia Veterans Commission, which is organizing the event. Registration is required to facilitate planning and for security purposes, he added. Brown said that it’s being held on Nov. 8 so it will highlight and not interfere with traditional Veterans Day observances on Nov. 11.
“It was really a no-brainer when we realized such a city-wide observance had never been held and we went to Philadelphia Congressman Bob Brady and City Council president Darrell Clarke, both of whom enthusiastically supported the idea,” Brown said.
“This will be a day to celebrate and honor area veterans and their service to their country,” Brady said. “It’s something we should have done a long time ago.”
Clarke echoed those sentiments, noting that “we’re proud to sponsor this event and will pull out all stops to showcase how Philadelphia feels about its veterans.” Also endorsing the event is David Oh, city council’s only veteran member.
Brown and the commission have formed a committee of more than 50 veterans’ representatives, including those from the public and private sector, to form the parade. Overseeing the organization of the event is Bob McMahon, Media’s mayor and the organizer of one of the most successful Memorial Day parade’s in the region. “The interest already has been overwhelming and very gratifying,” said Brown, who expects more than 100 groups to participate.
The commission has been seeking participation from a variety of organizations and has commitments from both the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, who will be facing each other in the annual Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia on Dec. 12, and a number of local ROTC units. A number of Medal of Honor recipients are also expected to attend.
The one-mile parade route has been set. It will start at noon at S. Broad and Walnut streets, travel north on Broad around City Hall, east on Market Street before ending at Independence Hall. WPVI Channel 6-ABC is the official media partner and will be broadcasting the event live from the start until 1:30 p.m.
The parade also has the support of H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, noted philanthropist and owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who Brady contacted immediately after the commission brought him the concept. Lenfest, who served on Navy destroyers during the Korean War, already is a patron of the Greater Philadelphia Traditions Fund, which supports 13 other parades and festivals in the city, including the Mummer’s Parade.
More information can be found on the parade’s web site: www.phillyveteransparade.org. The commission will provide regular updates via the web site and a Facebook page, which will be established.
www.phillyveteransparade.org …Veterans Advisory Commission…215-686-3163
Rm. 127 City Hall…Philadelphia PA 19107