New Yorkers will have the opportunity to meet and pay tribute to hundreds of veterans, active duty members and decorated generals in Times Square Tuesday.
Actor and producer Tony Lo Bianco will introduce a video presentation of the poem “Just a Common Soldier,” which will play on the big screen before a crowd of a few hundred veterans at 10:25 a.m., according to its coordinators. The poem, aka “A Soldier Died Today,” was written in 1987 by Canadian A. Lawrence Vaincourt and honors veterans’ work on the battlefield as they get older.
Lt. Gen. Dick Newtown, a U.S. Air Force veteran who will also speak at the event, said the location was a perfect place to demonstrate the city’s pride for its men and women in service.
“People from other countries, they’re going to see how America takes care of its own, they’re going to see how America recognizes the service of our veterans,” he said.
The poem has been read at several events that recognize the armed services and is carved into a marble monument at West Point.
While hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are expected to cheer on more than 20,000 servicemen at the Veteran’s Day Parade Wednesday, organizers said the Times Square event could offer an intimate meet.
Harry Coghlan, the chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, which worked with Lo Bianco for the presentation, expects that visitors will take time to pay their respects to the veterans and servicemen in attendance.