The Tallahassee Police and Sherriff’s Department revved their motorcycle engines to signal to beginning of the 2012 Veteran Day Parade. Eager children, families of fallen armed forces members and Veterans waved American flags in anticipation of the commemorative event.
The JROTC, Army, Marines and Navy sections of the Tallahassee community were the parade’s main highlight as they marched down Monroe Street.
Of the 90 plus organizations who participated, the Marching 100 wasn’t one. Local community bands, such as Leon, Lincoln, Rickards and Godby High Schools and the FAMU Developmental Research School helped to fill the bare slot.
“It’s actually one of the better parades that Tallahassee has,” said Anika Prudhomme, a Florida A&M alumna.
After attending the parade for the past three years, the fellow rattler was in attendance with her two young daughters. Prudhomme is also a previous member of the Marching 100.
“Our service men and women stand in harm’s way to protect every one of us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Joe West, president of Vet Events Tally.
V.E.T Inc., the main organizer for the third annual parade, is responsible for connecting the community with local veterans. In addition to the parade, the organization also sponsors a 5K Run and Vet Fest, a festival that takes place after the parade, located in The Chain of Parks between Monroe and Duval streets.
“For those who sacrifice their lives, for the freedoms and everything that we have, everyone should be out here today. But not only today, people should also think about the soldiers every day,” said veteran John Bartosik, sergeant major of the U.S Army.
He and his wife, Joyce, have attended the parade since it began years ago. With a daughter in the army, son in the marines and grandson in the Leon High School JROTC, the family has over a hundred years of armed forces history.
From 4 to 9 p.m., the Golden Corral will host a Military Appreciation Day. This diner is for all retired veterans, active duty and National Guard or Reserve members.