History

The New York City Veterans Day Parade traces its roots back to 19th century parades organized by veterans of the American Revolution and the War of 1812.

The tradition of celebrating our veterans on November 11 began in 1919, with Armistice Day celebrations marking the end of World War One.  Following World War II, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a national observance honoring veterans of all eras.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Parade and other events honoring service experienced a severe decline in public support, due in large part to the fallout from the controversial war in Vietnam.

In response, a group of Vietnam Veterans relaunched the United War Veterans Council (UWVC) to rescue the Parade.  Over the years, the UWVC restored the Parade to its rightful prominence in the community, and set it on a path to growth and sustainability.

In recent years, a new generation of veterans has stepped forward to take stewardship of the Parade.  These Post-9/11 veterans are working together with veterans of past eras, civilian volunteers, government agencies and corporate partners, to make sure that the Parade continues to set the standard for honoring service for years to come.

Today, the Parade has evolved from a traditional march of local veterans to a major public event with participating groups from communities across America, a live television broadcast, internet stream, and new initiatives in social media and mobile technologies.  It is also at the center of Veterans Day USA, an initiative that aims to build a coalition of communities across America as we count down to the centennial of Veterans Day in 2019.