LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (Livingston Parish News)- Laine Hardy is heading to the Big Apple… albeit virtually.
The rising country star is one of two entertainers slated to perform during a special broadcast of the New York City Veterans Day Commemoration on Wednesday, Nov. 11, the United War Veterans Council (UWVC) has announced.
Hardy, a Livingston Parish native who marched to stardom during his winning 2019 run on “American Idol,” will join fellow country singer and Army veteran Craig Morgan in performing during the 101-year-old program.
UWVC produces the New York City Veterans Day Parade, which first marched in 1919 and is historically the largest commemoration of service in America.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus public health emergency, this year’s commemoration will feature a mixture of live and virtual events, including a 12:30-2 p.m. broadcast on WABC-TV 7, the most-watched station in the nation.
In a press release, UWVC Chairman Nick Angione said Hardy and Morgan will add “an exciting dimension” to the annual celebration.
“All of our veterans are grateful that Craig Morgan and Laine Hardy, two talented and patriotic Americans, will add an exciting dimension to the New York City Veterans Day Commemoration,” Angione said. “Their words and music inspire all of us.”
Both Hardy and Morgan have military ties that make them the ideal pairing for this year’s Veteran’s Day program.
Morgan, 56, served 17 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves prior to his music career. As an active supporter of our troops, Craig has received numerous military and civilian service awards, including the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.
Craig supports projects such as Operation FINALLY HOME, Folds of Honor and more, in addition to 17 overseas tours that have entertained more than 45,000 service members and families in 15 countries. His latest album — “God, Family Country” — includes a song with two active duty Army Airborne Rangers.
“We owe so much to our veterans, the men and women who serve or have served our country,” said Morgan, who will open the broadcast singing the National Anthem. “It’s so important that, even with the challenges of 2020, we are still able to recognize the sacrifices of the U.S. Military in a big way, and I’m honored to be a part of that.”
Hardy, 20, has close ties to the U.S. Army through his grandparents, as his grandfather met his grandmother while serving in the Korean War. In a press release, Hardy said he looks forward to recognizing and honoring the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War this Veterans Day.
“I have such a huge appreciation for the veterans who have done so much for our country,” Hardy said. “My Grandfather served in the Army. So to be able to honor him and service members like him, means so much to me.”
The New York City Veterans Day Commemoration is the largest event of its kind in the nation, with past parades drawing tens of thousands of participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators to Manhattan’s iconic Fifth Avenue.
This year’s commemoration will be largely a virtual event, with a symbolic presence on New York City’s Fifth Avenue to maintain the tradition of veterans marching since 1919.
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