military parade

The parade day begins with a 6 a.m. toast of Irish whiskey at the historic Lexington Avenue Armory. Soldiers add sprigs of boxwood to their uniforms, emulating their Irish American predecessors who fought at the Civil War battle of Fredericksburg. The unit’s officers receive blackthorn fighting sticks, imported from Ireland and considered the mark of an Irish leader and gentleman. Before dawn, they march in formation to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, filling the streets of New York with echoing cadence calls. They attend a mass at the church to remember the regiment’s fallen and to honor its heritage.