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Albany's Annual Veterans Day Parade

People lined the streets of New York's capital today for the 61st annual Veterans Day Parade. WAMC's Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was among the crowd of onlookers.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan says the parade happens so the community can join and give thanks to the legions of brave men and women who donned the uniform in service to our country.   "Because of veterans who are no longer in the military, but who come and serve anyway, and make sure that we are able to have an event that honors our veterans. We also do a luncheon afterwards, that is again, organized by them, to honor our Gold Star families, and so it is an example of the service that continues after they served our country."

Albany's parade stepped off at the corner of Central Avenue and Ontario Street at 11 a.m. As marchers proceeded down Central Avenue, people from near and far braved falling temperatures to cheer marchers on — among them a young woman new to this country, clutching a small child in one arm, waving an American Flag in the other: "Is very fantastic and a pleasure to speak to this."   A local dad with his kids:  "We came out to see the veterans march; to thank them what they've done for our country."  An elderly gentleman watching with a group of homeless individuals: "Yeah, Happy Veterans Day! Good to see everybody out!"

The marchers continued on, east on Washington Avenue to Hawk Street, just east of the state capitol, to a reviewing stand situated on the steps of the old New York State Education Building.

If you don't mind the nip in the air, you still have time to go fishing. Veterans Day has been designated as one of New York's annual free fishing days. If you’re going out for dinner, several Capital Region restaurants are offering veterans and active-duty military members free or discounted meals.  Eugene Johnson is a retired chef from Washington, D.C.   "The vets have been good to us. We're also building a new brand new facility up in Watervliet right now, and I was there for the last three weeks watching them doing the foundation. And I think these vets are gonna live and they gonna do right."

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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