Thousands marched in—and watched—yesterday's Veterans Day Parade on Fifth Avenue. Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor-elect de Blasio attended a pre-parade ceremony at the Eternal Light Monument in Madison Square Park. De Blasio noted his personal connection with the day, "My father served in the Pacific of World War II in combat, in a number of key battles — including the Battle of Okinawa, where he lost his leg. And he carried the physical and emotional challenges ever after."
De Blasio also mentioned how his mother and his wife's parents all worked in various parts of the war effort: "The stories, the memories, the meaning of that carried on until this day, and the sense of sacrifice, and the sense of all that they gave because they believed in their country, and in those who served beside them."
Mayor Bloomberg announced a veterans entrepreneurship program to help them launch businesses. He said, "We can never repay our veterans the debt we owe them, but we can do everything possible to support those who have served by improving services that can help their transition to civilian life. Veterans have just the kind of leadership, discipline, and work ethic you need to launch a successful business and create jobs and we’re determined to help more veterans succeed."