Today is Veteran’s Day and around the country many are remembering the servicemen and women who served to protect the United States. But here locally a parade in Belividere was held and the small community of Belvidere showed just how much local veterans mean to them. Those of all ages stood outside in the cold to show their appreciation, and that sentiment was received well by those being honored.
“You get to see like all the people who have fought for our country”, said Ripley Wanzke.
People in Belvidere lined the street despite the frigid air to celebrate local heroes at the Veteran’s Day Parade.
“You have to be out here to support those who can’t make it”, Air Force veteran Steve Greef said.
VFW Post Commander Greg Kelm continued, “with the weather like it was how so many people showed up, it’s just awesome the support we have of this community”.
Viewers were bundled up in scarves, hats and gloves, some even wearing blankets watching the flashing lights, honor guard and marching bands pass by.
“It’s not the biggest parade in the world but it’s a parade with 100% heart so it makes it all worth while. It’s our parade”, said Kelm.
In the middle of the festivities, the parade stopped for a 21 gun salute at the World War 2 Memorial. It’s an important part of the Veteran’s Day ceremony to VFW Post Commander Greg Kelm.
“And we have to stop and at least say thank you. Thank you for the sacrifices, thank you for the lives unfortunately that were cut so short” said Kelm.
The message of Veteran’s Day is not lost on families and their kids. A parade is merely a testament to the appreciation of all the sacrifices servicemen and women have made.
“Our veterans are still all around the world, have been and will continue to be and most of us may not realize”, says Greef.
Kelm added, “we must never forget, and we must pass onto our children and grand children”.
“I think it’s great that the little kids learn about what goes on” continued Greef.
The support from the community warmed the hearts of all the vets on their day, a feeling that continues long after the parade ends.
“But it’s nice to think that veterans are also being remembered every day other than this day”, Greef said.
After the parade, the mural painting of the Raising of the Flag at Iwo Jima was rededicated after being touched up, by a group of twenty Boylan and Belvidere North High School students and teachers. They also added two more marines during thr touch up to make the image more historically accurate.