PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Members of the community, here, showed their support for U.S. veterans by holding its 18th annual Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11.
The City of Palm Springs was selected as a regional site for Veterans Day by the Veterans Day National Committee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sites are chosen based on the history of events, planned activities and ceremonies.
Michele Cirone-Collier, Veterans Day Parade Coordinator for the City of Palm Springs, explains that particular events and affiliations qualified them for regional representation, stating, "we have several organizations which support our veterans out here today and a post parade concert by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California followed by a fireworks display immediately following our parade."
The community has a long history of working with the military and its veterans. Active-duty service members live in the area because of the near-by bases, thus there is strong participation in events like these.
"There were a lot of people who showed up and a huge outpouring of support," said Sgt. 1st Class Roman Hacker, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the Horse Detachment, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. "We led the entire parade with the U.S. flag as the Color Guard." Hacker says the procession of the parade demonstrated service members' transition from active duty service members to veterans with the passage of time.
Attendees ranged from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Although there are likely to be somber moments, Veterans Day is also a time to celebrate the military, its veterans and their proud heritage.
"Veterans Day is a memorial to all the men and women, not just myself, that I served with in Vietnam; both living and those who never came back," said John Pereira, a Vietnam veteran. "I live for them now and I represent them here so that no one ever forgets what we did for this country."
Having a chance to celebrate the past can have a lasting impression on the next generation. Showing support for the veterans of the U.S. caused Cameron Steide, a Boy Scout who participated in the parade, to join the Army. "I am joining the Army as an infantryman because I want to make scarifies of myself just like the people we are honoring today. Coming out here and being with the veterans and understanding what they did for this country is very humbling."