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Not in spirit of the big day

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Almost there. Senator Charles Schumer, who had crisscrossed Fifth Avenue greeting spectators for most of the parade route, is flagging just a bit as he nears the end of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.[/caption]

By Inside File

IF has been hearing anecdotal evidence - and it follows similar stories that cropped up last year - of some police officers on duty for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York making it difficult for parade marchers to make it to their marching units.

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Specifically - and there have been a number of such accounts this year - people attempting to meet up with their units have been asked to produce photo identification and, in some instances, letters from marching organizations that confirm that the individual is expected to show up to march.

Whatever about photo IDs, that sort of correspondence does not exist, never has.

One specific eyewitness account from March 16th relates how two elderly women somehow managed to pass the security barriers on one of the streets in the 40s only to be pulled back for questioning.

Getting to simply see the parade in recent years has become more of a challenge because of increased security, much of it understandable in our post-9/11 world. There are more barriers than there used be, and access is highly restricted in the streets close to the parade's starting point.

People generally understand the need for security. But there's a good way and bad way of implementing the rules, and while officers might be simply going by the book and obeying orders, it is clearly the case that some officers - and only some - are not policing the parade in the spirit that the day requires.