Pentagon won't rein in parade, N.Y. planners say

The organizers of New York's St. Patrick's Day parade vowed to stage the biggest parade in the event's 221-year history despite what amounted to a Pentagon order to all military units to boycott it.

The Pentagon said Monday that it had advised Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine units to stay out of Thursday's parade because of the controversy surrounding the selection of Michael Flannery, a prominent supporter of the Irish Republican Army, as grand marshal.

New York City's 69th Regiment, a National Guard unit which has been leading the parade since 1851, said it will still take part.

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