There will be a new day, a new route and a new tribute this year for the 93rd annual Veterans Day Parade Downtown.
The parade, which traditionally has been held on Nov. 11, the Veterans Day holiday, will be held a day early this year, on Saturday, Nov. 10 beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Moreover, the parade will have a new route -- beginning at Liberty Avenue and Grant Street, near the Greyhound bus terminal, proceeding down Liberty, turning left onto Stanwix Street and right onto the Boulevard of the Allies, where the reviewing stand will be located.
The parade is being dedicated as a tribute to post-9/11 veterans and their families, said state Auditor General Jack Wagner, a Vietnam veteran who is assisting in parade planning.
His homecoming and that of other Vietnam vets was "bittersweet. Sweet because we came home but bitter because no one welcomed us home," Mr. Wagner said at a news conference at the August Wilson Center for African-American Culture, Downtown.
He said the sacrifices made by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their families must be acknowledged and a large turnout at the parade would be a fitting and welcomed tribute to them.
He was joined in that sentiment by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Anthony Filardi, adjutant/treasurer of the Federation of War Veterans Society, which sponsors the parade.
And two Iraq war veterans -- Matt Mahoney and Sam McArthur -- noted how much it meant to them to have a warm welcome home after their tours of duty and how important it would be to veterans and their families to have a large turnout for the parade.
The parade, one of the largest in the nation, will feature nearly two dozen Western Pennsylvania high school marching bands, local military units and other civic organizations.
For more information or to make a monetary contribution to help defray expenses, go to the event's Facebook page, titled pittsburghveteransdayparade.neigh_city - holidays
Michael A. Fuoco: mfuoco@post-gazette or 412-263-1968.