COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - People gathered on Tejon Street Saturday to catch a passing glimpse and pay their respects to current and former service members during the Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade.
"It's the 16th year of the parade and the theme is "Honoring Military Families - It Takes a Team," said Melanie Abate, executive assistant, parade board of directors. "It's just a great opportunity for everybody to come out to show their patriotism and support for our folks who are serving currently and those who have served."
The parade featured 96 entries including the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard, Flight of Flags, 4th Infantry Division Band and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Crosby, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, leading a formation of 'Iron Horse' Soldiers.
Marching in the parade served as a unique and eye-opening experience for many of the service members who represented their specific units and the military as a whole.
"It's just great that we get to come out here and give back to the community when they support us," said Spc. John Henenhan, cavalry scout team leader, Battle Troop, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div. "That's why we signed up."
All along the parade route people greeted the marching formations and floats with cheers of support as military veterans rendered salutes and children waved tiny American Flags.
"I grew up in the military, my father served for 33 years and he was in the Korean War and the Vietnam War and I would not miss supporting veterans in any way I could," said Dixie Ann Gordon, a Colorado Springs resident at the parade. "I'm very proud of them."
She said today's service members should, "Be proud, stand tall and do your best. That's all we can ask."