FORT DRUM, N.Y - Local community members came out as the city of Watertown held its annual Armed Forces Day parade May 15 through Public Square to support members of America's armed forces, past and present.

Marching in the parade from Fort Drum were Soldiers from across the installation as well as the 10th Mountain Division Band. Also representing the post were numerous military vehicles and organizations.

"This is a special day," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister, deputy commanding general for operations, who served as the parade's grand marshal. "Armed Forces weekend is an opportunity for our country to appreciate the military, and to be the leader here representing the Soldiers from Fort Drum is truly an honor."

Also turning out to support those who served were three Fort Drum Ladies of the Mountain: Mary Parry, Jean McDonald and Barbara Webber.

"This is the love of my life," Parry said. "I love Soldiers; I love the military; and today was a great day. It was absolutely fantastic.

"I wish there had been more people, although I don't know where they would have lined up," she added. "To see all the children waving and having a great time made today very special. I am so grateful for all of those who came out, and I can't wait for next year."

Also attending was Anthony Keating, civilian aide to the secretary of the Army, who said Watertown supports the military throughout the year and always shows its best when it comes to the annual parade.

"These are always wonderful," Keating said. "Seeing the Soldiers march is always inspirational. I think it will be more inspirational when we get them all back from overseas. One of these years we will get a chance to say thank you to all of them for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of all of us."