MIAMI, FL – County Commissioner José “Pepe” Díaz, Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Military Affairs Board, along with members of the Military Affairs Board, invites the entire community to honor the courage and service of veterans of the Vietnam War, the Bay of Pigs and all wars by attending the Miami-Dade County Golden Veterans Parade – 50th Anniversary Commemoration presented by Hershey’s on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.
The parade will begin at noon on Flagler Street under the I-95 overpass and proceed down Flagler Street to Bayfront Park, where a post-parade commemorative ceremony and FREE concert will take place. Free event parking is available at the West Lot Parking Garage, 220 NW 3rd St., the Hickman Parking Garage, 270 NW 2nd St., and the garage at 140 W. Flagler St. No backpacks are permitted at the parade or ceremony.
Organized by the Military Affairs Board and with the support of 34 Miami-Dade municipalities, local military organizations and a diverse group of community leaders, the parade was inspired by a recent presidential proclamation designating the next 13 years as the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War to honor the more than 3 million servicemen and women who served during more than a decade of combat in Southeast Asia.
Parade participants will include a motorcycle club with over 100 bikers, veterans’ organizations, military units and their assets, ROTC units, sponsor floats, five school marching bands, police motorized and horse units, and a flyover. The concert will feature nationally recognized bands that support veterans’ causes, including Grand Funk Railroad, Willy Chirino and the 13th Army Band of the Florida National Guard.
“This is a long overdue tribute to Vietnam veterans who fought bravely and honorably but never received a proper homecoming,” Commissioner Diaz said. “We are also honoring all the brave men and women across Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida who have risked their lives to defend this country’s hard-won freedoms over the years.”
In order to accommodate the event, there will be street closures and reroutes in the area, including but not limited to East and West Flagler Street and Biscayne Boulevard. The following is a timeline of scheduled street closures:
• At 6 a.m., West Flagler Street from 2nd Avenue to North River Drive, and North River Drive from Flagler Street to NW 3rd Street will be closed. This will be the staging area for the parade participants.
• At 8 a.m., Flagler Street from North River Drive to Biscayne Boulevard will be closed and barricades will be set up along the route. All cross streets (avenues) will remain open for vehicles and pedestrians to travel north and south.
• At 10 a.m., the remaining necessary closures will be implemented, to include all cross streets (avenues) intersecting Flagler Street. Biscayne Boulevard will be closed between SE 2nd and NE 1st Streets.
• Following the parade, the streets will be reopened following cleaning and clearing of barricades.
• Biscayne Boulevard and Flagler Street east of East 3rd Avenue will remain closed until the end of the concert at approximately 6 p.m.
• All traffic traveling northbound on Biscayne Boulevard will be sent west on SE 2nd Street. This reroute will remain in effect as long as Biscayne Boulevard is closed.
• All traffic traveling southbound on Biscayne Boulevard will be sent west on NE 1st Street. This reroute will remain in effect as long as Biscayne Boulevard is closed.
The City of Miami Trolley’s Biscayne and Coral Way routes also will be affected by the parade.
North of Flagler Street, the Biscayne Route will be detoured onto NE 1st Street at Biscayne Boulevard, head west to NW 2nd Avenue, proceed north to NW 5th Street, head east into PortMiami and then resume northbound on Biscayne Boulevard. South of Flagler Street, the Biscayne Route will take Brickell Avenue northbound to SE 4th Street, head east to SE 3rd Avenue, north to SE 2nd Street, and west to SE 2nd Avenue before returning south.
The Coral Way Route will head north on NW 2nd Avenue to SW 1st Street, east to Miami Avenue, south to SE 2nd Street, and west to NW 2nd Avenue before returning south.
People leaving the event should take the trolley on the north side all the way to Northwest 2nd Ave where the designated free parking is located. For more information about the trolley detours, call 305-416-1132 or visit www.miamitrolley.com. Additionally, live trolley tracking is provided at miami.etaspot.net.
This year, The Hershey Company will be the presenting sponsor of the Miami-Dade County Golden Veterans Parade and 50th anniversary commemoration. Hershey’s support of the U.S. military dates back to World War I, when Hershey provided milk chocolate bars to American soldiers. During World War II, Hershey developed the “Field Ration D” bar specifically for troops serving overseas and more than 24 million Ration D bars were produced every week by the end of 1945.
Hershey continues to support U.S. troops serving both domestically and in overseas conflicts. This includes the company’s product donation program, where Hershey sends a variety of products to men and women serving in the military. During the past 10 years, Hershey has sent care packages to the troops consisting of more than 4,500 cases of product. In addition, The Hershey Company has employed hundreds of veterans over the years and many have gone on to become leaders in the company. Today, there are more than 500 veterans in Hershey’s workforce.
“The Hershey Company has a long tradition of supporting the U.S. military. From the creation of the ration bar to the donation of products and to our commitment to hiring veterans, Hershey is proud to honor the service of our veterans and sponsor the Miami-Dade County Veterans Day celebration,” said Anna Lingeris, spokesperson for The Hershey Company.
On July 16, 2013, County Commissioners adopted a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Diaz to support the parade and commemoration.
The mission of the Military Affairs Board is to provide the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners with recommendations regarding the military and veterans, with a focus on issues concerning the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard Reserves. It serves as an advocate for active duty, reserve, retired, disabled and deceased military personnel in Miami-Dade County.
For more information about the parade, visit www.miamidade.gov/advocacy/military-affairs-home.asp or follow it on social media. (On Facebook: Golden Veterans Parade. On Twitter: @GoldenVetParade).