They haven’t gone away you know…

This from a French friend who’s currently in New York and moblogged directly from the phone in the street to his Flickr site. Not exactly live, but better than rushing to the nearest wifi hotspot and ‘hooking up’. Can anyone fill in the detail of who these guys are?

  • SlugFest

    Just a guess Mick:

    they’re probably an army (or another military wing)infantry unit based in the city. you’ll run into army men all over the city now (post 9/11). Pre 9/11, i had never seen a military unit in the parade (och, though those were my youthful pint-and-peek at the parade days, so who can say?)

  • Paul

    I believe that this is a picture of the US Army’s 69th Infantry Division. The 69th has a long history dating back to the US Civil War when this unit from New York City, composed almost entirely of Irish immigrants, fought several important battles. Their bravery did much to minimize discrimination against the Irish after the Civil War. The division also earned honors during WWI and WWII in Europe.

  • Vera

    It’s hard to tell from the picture, but I agree that it’s probably the 69th. From what I understand, they have always led the NYC parade.

  • muscailte

    It’s easy to tell from the picture. If you look at the guidon (the little flag they’re carrying for you non-military types), it shows that this unit is D Company, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry. They are currently a company of the the New York National Guard.

    Paul is in the ballpark about the unit but I’m going to get us to the correct section, row , and seat. In short, I have time on my hands and no sense of shame. The 69th (not a division, technically a regiment) traces its lineage back to First Bull Run (First Manassas for you Johnny Rebs) as the 69th New York State Militia. Although the Union Army was soundly drubbed in the battle, the 69th stood out in the losing cause. It was disbanded after 90 days which was not unusual for the time. It was almost immediately recreated as the 69th New York Volunteers and, along with 63rd NY, 88th NY, 28th Massachuesetts, and 116th Pennsylvania, formed the nucleus of Meagher’s ‘Irish Brigade.’ Meagher had been a captain at Bull Run commanding Company K of the “Irish Zouves.’ He was now a Brigadier Genral!

    The 69th has been a part of the New York National Guard since then and did distinguish itself in both world wars, although not as an “Irish’ regiment. The US Civil War was really the last time units were organized along ethnic lines, although segregated units existed until the Korean War.

    Bored yet?

  • SlugFest

    … and there i was impressed with myself for having figured out that they were military!

    ah, well.

  • Rory

    Of course it’s the “fighting 69th”. Shame on those who didn’t recognise it. Not only Meagher but (more importantly) Jimmy Cagney and Pat O’Brien would be hopping in their graves.

  • Seamus

    The 69th recently returned from Iraq with a “welcome home” celebration held at the Armory on Lexington Avenue last night.

  • Rory

    Well they are better off celebrating at home than deytroying the homes of others in a country they had no just reason to be in.