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President Donald Trump To Speak At New York City's Veterans Day Parade Opening Ceremony

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - It's a first for New York City's Veterans Day Parade.

This year, the president of the United States will attend the opening ceremony.

The New York City Veterans Day Parade pays tribute to the men and women who fight, and have fought, for our country.

Each year, the United War Veterans Council extends an invitation to the commander in chief.

President Trump In Iraq
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet members of the US military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018. (credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

"For as far back as we can remember, no one has ever accepted our invitation. This year, very honored, very pleased, that President Trump has accepted," said Nick Angione of the United War Veterans Council.

The White House confirmed President Donald Trump will address America's veterans on Monday in Manhattan.

He'll be the first U.S. president to speak and lay a wreath at the eternal light memorial in Madison Square Park as part of the opening ceremony for the 100th annual parade.

"I think it's great. He supports the veterans," one person said.

"I think he should be impeached," said another.

"Veterans should be honored the most of anyone else, before anyone else," one person said.

Despite no love lost between the two, Mayor Bill de Blasio says he'll also "absolutely" attend the opening ceremony.

"It should not be politicized. It should not be turned into a spectacle. If he's coming here to truly honor veterans, God bless him," de Blasio said.

Angione says the president has been a big supporter of the nonprofit United War Veterans Council, especially in the '90s.

"We were a bit in dire straits, and he did step up to the plate and gave us money, no strings attached," Angione said.

As for this year, after the wreath laying, the president will not be marching.

The parade runs up Fifth Avenue from 26th to 46th Streets. The NYPD says it's ready to keep everyone, including the president, safe.

The Veterans Day Parade opening ceremony kicks off at 10:30 Monday morning. Angione notes there will be space at Madison Square Park for the public to watch the ceremony, but keep in mind security now will be extra tight.

The parade includes more than 25,000 participants, from veterans and active duty personnel to high school and college bands.

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