Veterans Day Parade: Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey to serve as grand marshal

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Medal of Honor recipient and former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey will serve as the final grand marshal of the 2019 New York City Veterans Day Parade.

This year's parade marks the centennial observation of Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day.

Kerrey, who served as a U.S. Navy SEAL during the Vietnam War, is the fifth of this year's five grand marshals, who each represent an era of service from World War II to the present day.

"I hope this parade will be a time to celebrate and express our gratitude for the sacrifice and risks run by the men and women who served in our military" Kerrey said.

He joins grand marshals Herschel "Woody" Williams (U.S. Marine Corps, World War II), Hiroshi "Hershey" Miyamura (U.S. Army, Korea), Eddie Ray (U.S. Marine Corps, Desert Storm) and Zach Iscol (U.S. Marine Corps, Iraq and post-9/11).

The parade will take place on New York City's iconic Fifth Avenue, in the heart of Manhattan, on November 11, 2019, and airs on WABC-TV.

It will feature nearly 300 marching units and over 25,000 participants from nearly 30 states, including veterans, military members, service organizations, youth cadets and top high school marching bands.

Kerrey was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1943 and served in the United States Navy as an elite SEAL officer during the Vietnam War.

On March 14, 1969, Kerry was seriously wounded while in command of a SEAL Team during a mission on an island in the bay of Nha Trang. Despite these injuries, which would result in lifelong disabilities, he continued to lead his men until he was eventually evacuated by helicopter. For his actions, he received the Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon in 1970.

After completing his military service, Kerrey ran several successful businesses before returning to public service. He served one term as governor of Nebraska, from 1983 to 1987, and then served as a U.S. Senator for Nebraska from 1989 to 2001.

From 2001 to 2011, Kerrey was president of The New School in New York City. He has also served on the 9/11 Commission, on the advisory board of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association, as co-chair of the Concord Coalition, and on the Natural Resources Defense Council.

He is currently managing director at Allen & Company and executive chairman of the Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship.

Kerrey resides in New York City with his wife, Sarah Paley.

"Through his personal story and lifetime of service, Senator Kerrey offers us all a true example of perseverance and commitment to our nation" United War Veterans Council Executive Director Mark Otto said. "We are proud that he will be joining us and representing our Vietnam veterans at this year's Centennial Veterans Day Parade."

Channel 7 is proud to be the home for the New York City Veterans Day Parade. Watch it live Monday at noon.


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