Honoring those who served; Route map, street closures and more

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It’s one of the greatest ways to say thanks to our veterans — honoring them with a parade in the nation’s largest commemoration of service. 

There will likely be 20,000 participants from across America, representing every service branch of the military. 

“I am still waking up in the morning pinching myself, wanting to know when is the dream going to end,” this year’s grand marshal, Vincent Patton III, told CBS2. 

Patton was the first Black American to serve as master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard, the highest enlisted position for that branch of the military. 

Coincidentally, he has ties to CBS2’s Cindy Hsu

“My dad was a Coast Guard pilot, served for 30 years, as well,” Hsu told Patton. 

“I know him,” Patton replied. “We served at headquarters together.”

The three-hour parade starts at 12:30 p.m., stepping off at 26th Street and Fifth Avenue, marching up to 45th Street, which means there will be plenty of roads blocked off. 

We at CBS2 have been honoring our veterans all week for their sacrifice and service. We were there to celebrate the United States Marine Corps 247th birthday and the men and woman who are a part of it, retired and active. 

“These proud sailors and Marines serve our nation, and we have a responsibility to support them,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos del Toro said. 

On Long Island, we were there when Nassau County officials hosted a salute to some heroes who don’t always get the recognition they deserve — women veterans. 

“It takes a certain bravery to join the armed forces, and it takes a lot of bravery to join when you’re a woman,” said Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly.

We were also there when many paid tribute to World War II veterans and the iconic Sherman tanks that helped win the war. Those tanks are now 80 years old, and the veterans that rode them to victory are in their late 90s. 

“It brings back a lot of memories. I spent day and night,” 96-year-old veteran Jim Adreadis said as he remembered barreling through Germany. “It was tough for an 18-year-old, and I don’t know how I survived.”

The grand marshal said when it comes to today’s rain, it’s going to be OK. Since the Coast Guard is the service being featured this year, they’re used to being wet and wouldn’t have it any other way. 

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