USA: Virginia Veterans March in Honor of the Nation’s Veterans Day

The City of Virginia Beach hosted a Veterans Day parade and ceremony to salute past and present American veterans Nov. 12.

Virginia Beach has been hosting the Veterans Day events since 1970 and is one of 64 designated sites nationwide that serve as a model for community events in honor of the nation’s veterans.

More than 80 units with multiple components marched or performed during this year’s parade. The annual parade featured representatives and military vehicles from all branches of the armed services in the region.

“Veterans Day to me is showing pride in our country, seeing everyone who supports the military now and in the past and seeing how proud everybody is,” said Robby Lane, a retired Navy chief. “I marched today with my sons that are in Cub Scouts because it’s very important that they see where their dad came from, being that I’m retired military.”

Veterans who marched represented those who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

“I don’t look at things the same way I suppose that young people do today,” said Scarborough A. Lee, a Marine Corps veteran. “I used to ask why did we make it, why did we survive? And I came to realize it was up to us to make sure the word still went out that service is important.”

A ceremony was held following the parade which included a wreath-laying, a salute to all veterans and a flyover by aircraft from the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach.

The Veterans Day Proclamation was read by Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr., Portsmouth Mayor Kenneth I. Wright and Earl W. Timmons, former president of the Hampton Roads Council of Veterans Organization and this year’s grand marshal.

“It’s an honor for me to read the proclamation, but before I read it, I would like to sincerely thank all the veterans that are here today,” said Sessoms. “When I turned 18, there was a draft and I went and registered for the draft, but I did not get called. I did not have to make the sacrifices that each of you all have had to make in order for me and my family to have such a wonderful life.”

Following the ceremony, there was a dedication at the William L. “Bill” Myers Veteran Memorial Park honoring veterans whose names were engraved on memorial pavers in the last year.

Naval Today Staff, November 16, 2012