St. Patrick’s Day 2014 – New York Is Green Once Again
Article By: Len Rapoport – IPA Editor-In-Chief
New York City celebrated the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Monday on March 17th with thousands of spectators lining the parade route on Fifth Avenue. Although it was a bright sunny day, the weather was still freezing and we noticed many of the parades fans were huddled together, wearing their warmest clothing and fighting the cold.
New York City has hosted this parade since 1766 and it is one of the year’s biggest and most popular parades. The parade originated as a religious holiday that marked St. Patrick and Christianity’s arrival into Ireland in the 4th Century A.D. Even though the parade has its roots in Christianity, this celebration has also become one of the biggest celebrations of the year with millions celebrating anything Irish and wearing green, no matter what their faith.
But a cold sunny day is what we look for on this beautiful holiday, one that makes you feel alive and happy to cheer the participants as they pass by your vantage point. Bag pipes blowing, marching soldiers and members of the armed forces, police and firefighters rounding out the hero’s at the parade.
[box_light] Gays Are Allowed To March….But [/box_light]
Although this years parade, like past years parades, did have its controversy because of their anti-gay stance. The refusal of Mayor de Blasio to march in the parade did not put a damper on the activities. However, some don’t realize that the parade organizers don’t refuse gays to march in the parade.
They do prohibit them from carrying gay friendly signs or identify themselves as members of the LGBT. Of course the organizers policy is not that different then the military’s 1993 policy of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT). This rule meant to appease the public was never popular in the gay community and was ended in September 20, 2011.
The parade started on 44th Street and continued north up Fifth Avenue, and past St. Patrick’s Cathedral to 79th Street.
We heard that some protesters had planned a demonstration and were planning to pour Guinness beer from the shelves of the Stonewall Inn in downtown Manhattan.
Guinness, the popular Irish beer, announced Sunday that they have withdrawn sponsorship of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, citing the event’s “policy of exclusion. Ireland’s Prime Minister Edna Kenny stated this holiday is about Irishness, not sexuality.
“Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, said he believed there were thousands of gay people marching Monday, and was happy about that. I’d like to think it’s a celebration of roots and family and friendship and faith and heritage and culture and song and music. It’s a celebration of New York, this tremendous tapestry and this diversity all rallying around.” he said.
With all the controversy surrounding this issue, the thousands of people that attended the event, both spectators and participants had one thing on their minds,marching proudly in one of New York’s finest parades. Many of us that served our country were proud of our service and were happy for the opportunity to pay tribute to those in uniform which included New York National Guard’s 1st Battalion 69th Infantry, the New York Police and Fire Departments.
Although we couldn’t stay for the end of the parade and we weren’t prepared for the weather, it is one parade we will surely cover again next year.