Citizens of Tallahassee gathered to honor retired and active veterans Thursday morning. The sidewalks and streets were filled with people from all ages for the annual Veterans Day parade.
“This parade was to honor all veterans who are active and retired,” said Jan Carey, participation chairman for the parade.
The parade started on the corner of Call and Monroe St, and ended on Gaines St. This was one of the few times the parade was held on a major street. One reason for this change was participation doubled this year.
“This was the biggest veterans day parades Tallahassee has ever had,” Carey said.
Veterans from all branches of the military participated in the parade. Many people in attendance felt the parade was important to have.
“This needed to be done,” Carey said. “They need to know we have not forgotten about what they did for there country.”
Veterans who were there especially know the importance of this event.
“It is very important because we’re losing the recognition from the general public as far as what’s currently going on in the military,” said Tom Reagle, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970.
Reagle said it’s important to communicate to the general public, and stressed the importance of maintaining a strong military.
Veterans appreciated the recognition that was given by the parade.
“It feels terrific,” Reagle said.
Some spectators also felt a sense of pride during the parade.
“I’m very proud to be an American,” said Teddi Watson, a resident of Tallahassee.
The parade was filled with many organizations and schools from around Tallahassee. Some of those schools that participated in the parade were Leon and Gadsden high school.
Florida A&M’s Marching “100” and Florida State’s Marching Chiefs played in the parade. City officials such as the Tallahassee sheriffs department and the Tallahassee fire department were also in attendance.
“I think of the biggest reasons of being here is showing the children that this is a big deal,” Watson said. “The little ones are seeing that this is not just a time to get out of school, but a time to honor the veterans.”
Many different boy and girl scouts’ organizations also participated in the parade.
“I’m so pleased to see the boy and girl scouts because that’s the start,” Reagle said. “Scouting teaches patriotism and what needs to been as far as protecting our nation.”