(1010 WINS) -- President Donald Trump will offer a tribute to the men and women who have served the country during this year's Centennial New York City Veterans Day Parade opening ceremony, according to an announcement made Wednesday by the White House.
On Monday, Trump will address the 100th Annual Opening Ceremony, then will lay a wreath at the Eternal Light Memorial at Madison Square Park.
“On behalf of all the men and women who have served our nation, and who continue to serve, the United War Veterans Council is honored that our Commander in Chief, President Donald J. Trump, has agreed to join our 100th annual tribute,” United War Veterans Council (UWVC) Chairman Douglas McGowan said. “This is a day when we put politics aside to focus on honoring our veterans, and to re-commit ourselves as a community to providing them with the services they have earned, the services they deserve and, for many, the services they were denied.
McGowan noted that as a private citizen, Donald Trump made a substantial donation in the mid 1990’s to help the New York City Veterans Day Parade recover
from years of neglect and rebuild into the institution it is today.
Trump also made substantial donations to the creation of New York City’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial, McGowan noted.
The New York Times reported that in 1995 Trump agreed to give $200,000 and wanted to be named parade grand marshal in return, but never held that honor.
In 1985, Trump also made a $1 million donation to create a Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 55 Water St.
“The President has been great supporter of our veterans and indeed this parade here in New York City for more than 25 years,” said Bill White, 2019 Veteran’s Day Parade co-producer. “What he is doing now as president with regard to veterans choice, funding our military, and holding them and their families in the highest regard is truly extraordinary. He is loved by our veterans for sure.”
The 100th annual tribute parade is hosted by the United War Veterans Council and although the president of the United States is traditionally invited to attend, Trump is believed to be the only one to accept.
“This is a day when we put politics aside to focus on honoring our veterans, and to re-commit ourselves as a community to providing them with the services they have earned, the services they deserve and, for many, the services they were denied,” McGowan said. “We thank and commend President Trump for leading that effort on this Centennial, and we acknowledge his historic support for our activities here in New York City.”
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger will serve as honorary grand marshal and will lead a contingent of Marines up Fifth Avenue after Trump's opening ceremony speech.