Cardinal-Archbishop Timothy Dolan greets disabled NYPD officers in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral

The green line painted down the middle of Fifth Avenue helped marchers in the 2012 St. Patrick's Day Parade stay on course except, of course, when they reached St. Patrick's Cathedral. Just about every group paused for a blessing from the new Cardinal and Archbishop of the New York Diocese, Timothy Dolan. Cardinal Dolan greeted the many marchers from the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral even, at one point, placing his biretta on the head of a young boy who approached for a blessing.

The St Patrick's Day Parade is one of the few remaining New York City parades where no cars, floats, buses, trucks or other vehicles are allowed. Sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the more than 150,000 marchers are members of various Irish societies from New York, around the country, and the world. Many Irish societies make the Atlantic crossing to join the parade and large contingents from Emerald Societies of the New York City Police and Fire Departments and other local uniformed services rounded out the marchers.
Irish foreign minister Eamon Gilmore criticized the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade for its ban on LGBT groups, saying, “Exclusion is not an Irish thing.”
Gilmore, who assumed his new post in the last week, made the remarks Wednesday during a historic meeting with Irish LGBT leaders at the Irish Consulate in Manhattan. In addition to the gay boycott, many allied political leaders avoid the St. Patrick’s Day in New York City because its sponsoring organization prohibits LGBT participants from marching under the own banners. (from thinkprogress.org)
NYC Photo News was there with full coverage of the parade from start to finish.

Soldier remembered by his father marching in the parade

Green hair and beard at the parade

USMC Honor Guard

Mayor Bloomberg (left) and Police Commissioner Kelly

Cheering crowds line the parade route


Cardinal-Archbishop Timothy Dolan lets a young man try on his biretta

Piper from the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes and Drums

Marcher from Donegal

Protesting the exclusion of gays and lesbians from the parade
 
Soliders in Revolutionary War uniforms