SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – The New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing acted as grand marshal of Schenectady’s 54th annual holiday parade.
Over 50 Airmen, led by Col. Christian Sander, wing commander, marched in the Nov. 18 parade as Sander waved to the crowds lining State Street.
The parade fell on the same day as the unit’s 75th anniversary and was a great opportunity to celebrate with the community, Sander said.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul welcomed Airmen of the 109th Airlift Wing from the reviewing stand.
Accompanying the military contingent was a miniature version of one of the unit’s specialized LC-130 Hercules aircraft atop a float built by the Airmen of the 109th.
The float and its centerpiece, “Baby Herc,” represented the 109th’s role in supporting scientific research in Greenland and Antarctica.
“It’s an honor for us to be part of Schenectady’s holiday celebration,” Sander said. “This parade allows us to connect with the community, express our gratitude for their support, and showcase the capabilities of the 109th Airlift Wing.”
“The 109th’s participation serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families, creating memorable moments for both the military participants and the community,” said Anthony Jasenski Sr., chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature.
“The legacy of the 109th Airlift Wing, built on the principles of dedication, sacrifice and service, resonates deeply with our community’s values,” Jasenski said.