NEW YORK – With the weather in the mid-50s, and not a cloud in the sky, the 2009 New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade was going to be a success for Division 8.
But this year was even more special, because one of our own, past Division 8 President and current Nassau County President John O’Connell, was named an Aide to the Grand Marshal.
“What a wonderful day! Glorious!” O’Connell said. “This was one of the happiest days in my life to serve as an Aide to the Grand Marshal of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”
Backed by seven members of the men’s division and 15 of the ladies, Division 8 marched under its own flag for the first time in three years.
As the division proceeded up 5th Avenue, crowds of three to four deep lined the streets cheered on the brothers and sisters. And the special moment came when they arrived at 63rd Street to see O’Connell standing in front of Central Park. “One of the best moments.” O’Connell said, “was to cheer my Division 8 men on as they passed the reviewing stand.”
After the two mile walk, the division went to a local restaurant on the Upper East Side and enjoyed some well deserved refreshments.
But for the Division 8’s man of the hour, the day was just starting.
“The Cardinal’s Mass in the morning,” O’Connell said, “the happy Irish faces along the route, the grace of the Grand Marshal, seeing my loved ones in the stands, the weather, it was all so great, I will remember this day for all my life.”
All members of Division 8 are welcome to march in the parade every year. If you are Irish, Catholic and interested in joining, please follow this link for more information.