DETROIT. At the 17th Veterans Day parade in Detroit on Sunday, spectators waved, cheered and thanked veterans for their service to the country.
The parade honors the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force and Space Force and is organized by the Detroit Veterans League. It has stood in downtown Detroit since 2006.
Military personnel, other veterans and service organizations, ROTC programs and schools marched or drove through Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood Sunday.
Gary Hanson, a Vietnam War veteran, walks down Trumbull Street during the parade. He was surprised there were no more attendees as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., honoring more than 58,000 veterans who died in the war.
“We are Vietnam veterans, we are old, we are at the top, so when we are over 80, you don’t see us marching,” Hansen said. “Veterans in Afghanistan and Iraq want to support their families, they want to buy a house, but they no money, no support. They’re crazy, I don’t blame them.”
Problems during past wars may have contributed to the decline in enrollment and participation, according to Hansen. He began his service 50 years ago and has been participating in military parades for more than a decade.
“You need an army because 9/11 showed it. You need someone who will respond. You need someone out there,” Hansen said.
Before the parade began, two mothers from Rochester found seats on Trumbull Street, their children playing instruments in the Rochester High School band.
“I think it’s very helpful for young people to remember what happened before them,” said Rochester’s mom, Taryn Sudhoff. “The part where we see the death toll of veterans… it reminds you that you’re not just here to honor those who are alive.”
Melissa Humberd accompanied Sudhoff and was delighted to see her children march in the band. Humberd said parades like Veterans Day events are important. She is the daughter of a late Vietnam War veteran whose grandfathers both served in World War I.
The drill brought Karen Verden from Detroit, who has many family members who serve the country, into the parade. Her husband, father, father-in-law and son-in-law are all war veterans, so during the parade she runs with marchers, military and other equipment to support the cause.
She has been on the parade for over five years and said the weather and lack of awareness may prevent others from joining the march. Verdun was aiming for a larger turnout but said she appreciated the mix of veterans and young people who showed up on Sunday.
Post time: Nov-07-2022