LOS ANGELES — oooooo
Storm-ravaged New York hosted the country’s largest Veterans Day parade with turnout sparse along portions of the 30-block route along Fifth Avenue.
Standing in warm fall sunshine, officials said veterans should be honored and remembered more than just one day a year.
“This nation has a special obligation to take care of you,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told the crowd.
Several officials also made a note of mentioning Vietnam veterans. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
One Vietnam vet, 66-year-old Laurence Lynch of New York, said simply, “It’s about time. It’s about time.”
Along a number of blocks of the parade route, just a few dozen spectators were lined along the barricades.
Candice and Jeffrey Stark stood nearly alone on one stretch, waving tiny American flags. “We are shocked,” Candice Stark said. “Very disappointed and terribly appalled. Don’t get me started!”
The Long Island couple was among the many residents displaced by the storm. The military has been very visible in the Sandy cleanup, so the Starks said they went to the parade to show their appreciation.
In an event befitting the nation’s movie capital, the GI Film Festival Hollywood was launched this weekend in Los Angeles.
Films at the two-day festival highlighted the successes and sacrifices of American military personnel and the worldwide struggle for democracy, said festival co-founder Brandon Millett. Movies must have at least one main character, real or fictitious, who plays a military role with respect.
The festival’s mission is to preserve the stories of American vets, he said.
“We noticed a lot of films portray GIs in an unfavorable light,” said Millett, who founded the festival with his wife, a West Point graduate. “We wanted to show the courage, the heroism and the sacrifice of men and women in uniform.”
The festival showcased eight feature films culled from Millett’s annual GI Film Festival held in Washington, D.C., in May, and debuted short films made by filmmakers who are veterans. It also recognized actors for their contributions to the U.S. Armed Forces and held a fundraising auction to benefit the Semper Fi Fund, which aids wounded Marines and their families.
“We show all aspects of the GI experience, in the arena of war and when they come home,” Millett said.