2008 Veterans Day Parade
Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney (DQueens /Manhattan) served as a Grand Marshal of the 2008 New York City Veterans Day Parade. Maloney spoke at the parade's opening ceremonies in Madison Square Park and then with her fellow Grand Marshals helped lead the parade up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
The parade, organized by the United War Veterans Council, honored current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces. It is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The parade's opening ceremonies began at 10 a.m. at the Eternal Light Monument in Madison Square Park at 24th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. At approximately 11:30, the parade line of march began along Fifth Avenue from 26th to 59th Streets.
"I am honored to serve as a Grand Marshal, but the parade's true honorees are the millions of Americans who gave of themselves to protect and preserve our democracy," Maloney said before the event. "Caring for the men and women who fought for the Stars and Stripes with the weight of a country on their shoulders is the moral responsibility of every American. In the next Congress, we in the New York delegation will continue our bipartisan efforts to care for our soldiers and veterans as we would care for ourselves and our families. I thank the United War Veterans Council for this tremendous honor and I look forward to marching with my fellow New Yorkers."
Also serving as parade Grand Marshals this year were New York City Councilmember Alan Gerson; World War II veteran Rocco Moretto; Edith Shain, the nurse immortalized in the "Times Square Kiss" photo; James Mc- Donough, director of the New York State Office of Veterans Affairs; Colonel Steven Smith, commanding officer of Fort Hamilton; Command Sergeant Major Sylvia Laughlin, senior enlisted service member at Fort Hamilton, and Vietnam veteran Layton Baker.
Maloney led a successful fight to save the Manhattan VA hospital from being closed or consolidated by the Veterans Administration. In the current Congress, Maloney has worked with her House colleagues to approve the largest increase in funding for the VA in the agency's history, strongly supported the new G.I. bill to give veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars the same educational benefits as World War II veterans and participated in hearings aimed at improving health care for wounded veterans and soldiers. Maloney's bill to allow veterans to use VA loans to purchase co-operative apartments, the Veterans Housing Fairness Act, was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2006. During her tenure in the New York City Council, she passed legislation that established the Korean War memorial in New York, the first of its kind in the nation. Maloney also fought to open a veterans' shelter in East Harlem, an effort for which she was recognized with the Military Order of the Purple Heart, For Meritorious and Conspicuous Service for Veterans.