It's that time of year where the color green floods the streets, and the air is filled with sound of bagpipes. There is a break in tradition for this year's 250th Annual New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) is participating for the first time.
"It's a really great opportunity to represent the Army in New York City. It's a real honor to participate in such a ceremony," said Sgt. Nicholas Bogert, Continental Color Guard, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
The parade has been held for the past 248 years in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland and the Archdiocese of New York. The Parade is reviewed from the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral by Cardinal Edward Eagan, Archbishop of New York in the same manner as the Archbishop of New York did in the early days of the Parade at the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in Lower Manhattan.
"I like being a part of history. One day I will watch this parade with my kids and I will be able to tell them that I marched in that very parade," said Sgt. 1st Class Cody Reeves, Delta Company 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York was held on lower Broadway in 1762 by Irish ex-patriots and Irish military. The parade participants reveled in the freedom to speak Irish, wear the green, sing Irish songs and play the pipes to Irish tunes that were very meaningful to the Irish immigrants who had fled their homeland.
The Old Guard is the Army's official ceremonial unit and escort to the President of the United States. The Old Guard personally selects its soldiers from throughout the Army to be a part of this elite unit.