Buzz Aldrin leads an­nual pa­rade in NYC

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page -

Thou­sands turned out to honor Amer­ica’s ser­vice men and women at the Veterans Day pa­rade.

Leg­endary as­tro­naut Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Air Force’s high­est-rank­ing woman joined Mayor Bill de Bla­sio and oth­ers at the city’s Veterans Day pa­rade.

The Demo­cratic De Bla­sio said he was “to­tally star-struck” when he met the 87-year-old Aldrin Satur­day ahead of the pa­rade that stepped off on Man­hat­tan’s Fifth Av­enue. Aldrin served in the U.S. Air Force and was the sec­ond man on the moon, pi­lot­ing the Apollo 11 and fol­low­ing Neil Arm­strong onto the lu­nar sur­face in 1969. Aldrin served as Grand Mar­shal, rid­ing in a con­vert­ible and wav­ing to the crowds.

“It’s beau­ti­ful, so many peo­ple,” he said.

Air Force Gen. Ellen Paw­likowski also at­tended, along with hun­dreds of other veterans who marched in the winter cold. The World War II veterans rode in a float with one for­mer sol­dier hold­ing a sign that read “Thank you for re­mem­ber­ing.” Oth­ers held U.S. flags or black-and-white pho­tos of their loved ones, and dressed in historic uni­forms. A man dressed as a sailor and a woman in a nurse’s uni­form re-enacted the fa­mous World War II V-J Day kiss photo.

De Bla­sio said the U.S. must do more than just pay trib­ute to veterans; there should be bet­ter ac­cess to men­tal health and medical care, and more job op­por­tu­ni­ties for those who served.

“We are so proud to be a city where over 200,000 veterans live, veterans who have an­swered the call of duty and have trav­eled to the ends of the globe to pro­tect lib­erty at home and abroad,” de Bla­sio said. “For the sa­cred sacrifice of all veterans across this coun­try, the 8.5 mil­lion Amer­i­cans who call New York home will for­ever re­main in the debt of their ser­vice.”

The New York pa­rade is the largest Veterans Day pa­rade in the coun­try.

ANDRES KUDACKI — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

For­mer as­tro­naut Buzz Aldrin, cen­ter,salutes dur­ing the an­nual Veterans Day pa­rade in New York, Satur­day. Aldrin served as Grand Mar­shal as he joined Mayor Bill de Bla­sio and oth­ers at the city’s pa­rade.

ANDRES KUDACKI — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A mem­ber of Veterans for Peace per­forms as he marches dur­ing the an­nual Veterans Day pa­rade in New York, Satur­day.

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