Labor Day Parade Tinged With Sadness Ahead of 9/11
By Paul Lomax
Special to DNAinfo
MIDTOWN — This year's annual Labor Day Parade celebration was tinged with sadness as the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks loomed over New York City.
According to NYPD estimates, over 100,000 workers, union members, New Yorkers and others gathered under an overcast sky to show their support for the thousands of workers who marched on Fifth Avenue Saturday afternoon.
Among those marching on the route from 44th to 64th streets were firefighters and police officers who lost many of their colleagues ten years ago.
Spectators of all ages were defiant in mood and showed good spirits despite Sunday's anniversary as they enjoyed the sights, sounds and pageantry of the march dedicated to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers across the country.
Kenneth Leikind, a Vietnam veteran who served with the U.S. Air Force as a munitions specialist attends the parade every year.
"This is my favorite parade of the year," he said. "I think the workers of this country are like soldiers too."
But he said that with the anniversary of Sept. 11 just a day, he said that they had to be mindful.
"This year is different though as we must remember the people that died ten years ago and send our thoughts to all of their loved ones," he said.
Pedro Delgadillo, who served 21 years with the U.S. Army as a master sergeant said: "I came here today to look at the beautiful parade and to honor all of the workers. Also, I want to remember and respect all of my fallen comrades who will not be here tomorrow."
In the procession were members of the FDNY Emerald Society's Pipes & Drums band.
Freddy Salce, 40, a nurse said: "I'm here today to pay tribute to the workers of New York City, especially on the anniversary of 9/11. God Bless America!"