Anita Fite was eager to watch her husband drive a fully restored 1945 military jeep down Main Street in Saturday’s Veterans Day parade. She also came for another reason.
As the floats, the groups of motorcyclist veterans, the military personnel and others passed through the intersection of Main and West Seventh St., Fite soaked in the patriotism and hoped the parade would help pass it from generation to the generation.
“I hope people realized that there is a major sacrifice that has been going on for many years,” said Fite, a fifth-grade teacher at La Casita Elementary. “We cannot forget the sacrifices that so many individuals made in the past in order for us to have freedom of the present and of the future.”
The Veterans Day parade showcased the Marshall Middle School marching band, shiny new Cadillacs from a local dealership, a group of veterans motorcyclists from VFW posts 3280 and 3015, AMVETS Post 14 and American Legion Post 25.
Also in the parade were Boy Scouts, active military personnel, the Clovis High School ROTC unit and a handful of children riding in a convertible Mustang who playfully sprayed silly string at city and military officials on the moderator platform.
American Legion Post 25 won the traveling trophy, the parade’s grand trophy.
Raymond Mondragon, president of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, thought the Veterans Day parade was significant since U.S. troops are returning home from Iraq. He said the parade celebrates the troops’ honor and service to the nation.
“The float that I really enjoyed was the float with the twin towers honoring our heroes, our firefighters, our police officers, our military men and women, our EMTs,” Mondragon said. “To me that was really significant. It really touched me to see that,”
Mondragon said he hoped young spectators saw how much of a service one can be by serving the country and became inspired to do the same.
Johnny Washington, a life member of all veterans’ organizations in Clovis, represented the American Legion Department of New Mexico.
“The Veterans Day parade was nice,” Washington said. “People put a lot of hard work into the floats.”