If you missed the parade this year, you missed a lot of fun. This year’s featured guests, the parade marshals, were the World War II Veterans, and the honors are justly deserved. The World War II Veterans, and Veterans in general should be our reason for celebration. Independence Day isn’t about candy or fireworks, but our freedom to enjoy all the simple things in life for which thousands of men and women have given their lives.
It was incredible to have 15 WW-II Veterans as marshals. In reflection, this quote seems to say so much. “Freedom is not Free, 406,000 active duty personnel were killed during WW-II from Dec. 7th, 1942 to Sept. 2, 1945”
Red Erwin, United States Army Air Corps, Medal of Honor – WW-II
It is an honor that WW-II Veterans served as the Grand Marshals this year. The 4th of July Parade’s theme was “Celebrating Our Freedom” with the intent to honor those heroes of our military who served during that time. Some of the Veterans on the float were decorated Heroes, some awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded in action, and one was shot down and taken as a prisoner of war (POW).
Here are the names of those who served as Grand Marshals. Sincerest thanks is extended to these heroes.
- BILL HARRISON – US NAVY
- CAT REDE – US ARMY
- DAN MCBRIDE – US ARMY
- ROY ANDERSON – US ARMY AIR CORPS
- LOU PRUITT – US MARINE CORPS
- LEONARD PRITIKIN – US MARINE CORPS
- JAMES BAYNE – US ARMY
- JACK CUNNINGHAM – US ARMY
- ENRIQUE GONZALES – US NAVY
- MURRAY RYAN – US ARMY
- ARTHUR VEEDER – US ARMY
- MARTIN SCHREIBER – US ARMY
- GEORGE MOORE – US ARMY
- PHILIP ORTEGO – US MARINE CORPS
- GENE LEWIS
- GEORGE SANDOVAL – US NAVY
- JOSE SALAS – US ARMY AIR CORPS – POW
Thanks to these Veterans.
Also involved in this year’s parade were members of our local American Legion Auxiliary Unit. The American Legion consists of Veterans from all branches of the military who have “honorably served our country [in] all periods of conflict”. The Auxiliary Unit exists to “support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad.”