Hometown Heroes celebrated with ticker parade in New York
The parade featured 14 different floats, making it one of the largest ticker parades in the city’s history.
Nurses, medics, first responders, teachers, bus drivers and more rode tanks through a canyon of tall buildings and falling confetti, with Queens nurse Sandra Lindsay – the first no one in the United States to receive the COVID-19 vaccine – serving as the parade’s grand marshal.
“What a difference a year makes,” she said. “Fifteen months ago we were in a very different place. But thanks to the heroic efforts of so many healthcare workers, first responders, frontline workers, those who fed us, those who risked their life, we can’t thank them enough. “
The parade started at 11 a.m. at Battery Park and headed north to the Canyon of Heroes.
“We have a lot to appreciate as we are well advanced in our recovery,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who got on a chariot with hospital workers and Mr. Met. “We have a lot to celebrate, and we have a lot of people to celebrate.”
Nina Pineda boarded a 118-year-old metro car during the parade with the MTA. Acting Transit President Sarah Feinberg shared an emotional moment with her.
A Washington Heights internal medicine doctor delivered a message of hope for New York City to Eyewitness News reporter Stacey Sager.
New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea spoke to NYPD’s Mike Marza during the pandemic and what the parade means to him.
“They deserve a walk in the Canyon of Heroes because it’s something that is reserved for the greats in history,” said de Blasio. “Well, here are some of the people who made history during New York’s toughest times.”
Justin Davis, a nurse who came from Pittsburgh to work at a Manhattan hospital during the height of the crisis last year, was thrilled to take part in the parade on a float sponsored by AMN Healthcare, the recruiting company he works for.
“I think it’s going to be really cool,” Davis said. “And I hope that can just bring closure.”
Davis, a 43-year-old military veteran, said he came to New York when it was a pandemic epicenter, leaving behind his wife and three young children, “because I wanted to do something to make my family proud ”.
The parade gave Davis’s family and a whole group of New Yorkers the opportunity to express their pride and gratitude in him and other essential workers.
“It’s a huge thing,” said his wife, Jennifer Davis. “It’s great. We just had to come here and be there for him, support him and celebrate him.”
The previously scheduled ceremony at City Hall Park at the end of the parade to publicly thank workers and celebrate New York’s summer has been canceled due to the extreme heat.
De Blasio said extra precautions had been taken to ensure the safety of participants and spectators.
The tanks represented 260 different groups of essential workers, including:
Small businesses and bodegas
Education and childcare
Hospitality / building maintenance
Communication and delivery
The Hometown Heroes parade was the last in a 125-year New York tradition.
The same type of celebration, known as the duct tape parade for the thin strips of paper that covered walkers, has been held in the past to celebrate the return of soldiers, astronauts and championship sports teams.
The final parade along the iconic stretch known as the Canyon of Heroes honored the United States women’s soccer team for their 2019 World Cup victory.
Labor disputes also hampered plans, as some EMS workers boycotted the parade to protest what their union sees as low pay. A union representing healthcare workers said it was skipping the parade over ending essential worker pay and the lack of early retirement incentives for its members, which include social workers and job plotters. contacts.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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