military parade

The opportunity comes from a tradition dating back almost to the start of the 69th. The regiment was formed in 1849 as a New York State militia of Irish immigrants. Two years later, amid anti-Irish Catholic sentiment, they were asked to lead the parade and fend off any attackers. Today, key partners, including the New York Police Department, ensure the safety of the parade and the public. A squad of 69th Soldiers still makes a traditional “show of force” by marching in “battle rattle” — combat uniforms, body armor and helmets, with rifles and machine guns.