Spectators lined Tejon Street downtown to honor veterans Saturday during the annual Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade.
"Celebrating 100 years of Armistice/ Veterans Day" was the theme for this year's parade in recognition of a cease-fire signed on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, in the 11th month of 1918, marking an end to the Great War, World War I.
Soldiers from the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard led the parade as they held flags steadfast in the blustering wind pervading the city. The Living History re-enactors served as the grand marshals of the parade and dressed in uniforms from all military branches from World War I to present.
Among the first groups in the parade's lineup was the 4th Infantry Division Band, directly followed by a formation of nearly 40 service members, including Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., that proudly carried the Flight of Flags.
More than 90 organizations, contributing thousands of participants, marched down the mile-long stretch between St. Vrain Street and Vermijo Avenue displaying their support of veterans.
"I made it a point to get down here today because I wanted to show my support," said Brian Murphy, a Navy veteran and Veterans Affairs liaison for the Soldier Family Assistance Center at Fort Carson. "It is very heartwarming and inspirational to see this many people in support of our veterans. I am very appreciative of the support."
Parade entries included area high school marching bands, Junior ROTC programs and Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts. The parade was a combined effort between veterans, active-duty service members and the Colorado Springs community to celebrate veterans.
The Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade began in 2000 by a group of veterans whose mission was to honor all veterans and to educate and inspire community awareness while paying tribute to the service and sacrifices veterans have endured in the pursuit of freedom.
The parade has rekindled a great tradition where veterans are enthusiastically cheered as they walk down Tejon Street. Veterans come from all over southern Colorado to participate in the parade.
"As I was marching, you could feel the energy coming from the crowd," said Sgt. Hunter Tolbert, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT. "It was an awesome experience seeing the community supporting all the veterans."