Northwell Health CEO and 2017 New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal Michael Dowling with some of his personal heroes.
By Ray O’Hanlon
Long before the term “first responder” became part of our daily vernacular the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a stage for first responders, a march for heroes.
Nobody who was present on the day will ever forget the 2002 parade, which stopped in its tracks at noon, turned and faced south. In the line of march were probationary firefighters carrying 343 American flags, one for each of the FDNY heroes lost on 9/11.
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In all its storied history, Fifth Avenue was never so quiet as it was in those moments of memory and devotion.
This year, with no physical parade set for Fifth Avenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the parade, and what it represents, is taking place in several forms and formats.
One is a social media campaign being launched by parade organizers to “Honor Heroes and Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2021.”
Said a statement from the parade committee: “This has been an unprecedented and difficult year for all of us. We may celebrate St. Patrick’s Day apart this year but this special campaign can bring everyone from all across the world closer together as we in New York City.
“To mark the occasion of the 260th New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade all are invited to support the Parade by extending a word of thanks or greetings to First Responders, Essential Workers, Family and Friends to be included in the first-ever, New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Gallery of Greetings, to be hosted on our website and Facebook Page.
“This virtual expression of gratitude, love and remembrance, can be shared with the world to commemorate and celebrate the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day.”
And of course it should be shared with the world. To submit St. Patrick’s Day greetings and honor all Essential Workers and First Responders worldwide go to http://www.tribute.stpatricksdayparade.org