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Parade honors Fighting 69th at West Point ceremony

New York’s “Fighting 69th” regiment recently honored its members and paid homage to deceased members at West Point Military Academy. The keynote speech was given by Brigadier General Steve Gilland, Commandant of the United States Military Academy. During the ceremonies, the regiment was presented with the John Fitzsimons "Saint Patrick” Parade Service award, this for 164 years of continuous service to the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This award is presented annually in memory of the late John Fitzsimons, former Vice-Chairman of the Parade and a veteran of the "Fighting 69th." Pictured (l-r): Colonel John Andonie, Chief of Staff, New York Army National Guard, Lt. Col. Don McKay, 69th Commanding Officer, Hilary Beirne, Chairman, NYC St. Patrick's Day Foundation, and Brigadier General Steve Gilland. The St. Patrick Award is hand crafted in County Wicklow by master sculptors Michael Calnan and Gunvor Anhoj. It is an iron swan, partially gilded, and mounted on Connemara marble plinths.

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