Pleasanton Weekly

News - November 8, 2013

5,000 watch Veterans Day parade on Main Street

San Jose's parade this weekend is only other one left in Bay Area

by Jeb Bing

A crowd estimated at more than 5,000 lined Main Street in downtown Pleasanton Sunday for the city's 17th annual Veterans Day parade.

The parade, sponsored by the local posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, included more than 125 entries, ranging from local Girl Scout, Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops and packs to heavy Army trucks, Jeeps and even a Huey helicopter on a float provided by Camp Parks.

Politicians also were in abundance with the mayors of all Tri-Valley cities except San Ramon, and county and state representatives in the parade. Congressman Eric Swalwell walked in the parade, shaking hands with crowds on the sidewalks along the way.

Sunday's parade was the largest veterans parade in the Bay Area. San Jose will also have a parade this weekend, but it will be that city's last. All other earlier parades have since been ended.

For years, Pleasanton has held its annual tribute on the Sunday before the Veterans Day holiday so that military units and other organizations that were committed to other observances could participate here. With the last Veterans Day parade being canceled after this weekend by San Jose, Pleasanton organizations will reevaluate the need to hold the parade here earlier.

This year's parade review officer in Pleasanton was Commander James Ridgway, Commanding Officer U.S. Navy Support Center. The grand marshall was World War II Navy seaman Danny Soria.

Music was provided by the Army 191st band, the Air Force band from Travis Air Force Base, the Navy's Band of the West and marching bands from Foothill, Dublin and Granada high schools. The Oakland Military Academy, Ben Ali Bag Pipe Band and the Piedmont Bag Pipe Band also performed.

Other marching units included color guards from all five branches of the military as well as local veteran organizations and police and fire departments. Military vehicles, vintage and current, classic cars and many motorcycles provided viewing pleasure for everyone.

Comments

Posted by A proud American!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2013 at 9:59 pm

This was a great parade to take my kids to see our Veterans, active military, local elected politicians and decorated war heroes. A great day!

By the way, where is the photo that was in the paper of the people on the red fire truck?


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I was once a young soldier marching in a 4th of July parade in some small town back east. I can't remember the name of the town, but I still have a picture of the little town square with its gazebo in my mind. I also remember the aging former soldiers at the VFW that had retired from their civilian jobs years and years before buying us beers and being grateful, I remember thinking, to have people they thought would understand sit and listen to them for a while. An entire lifetime has passed between then and now, and I look at the world differently from this end. The crowds honor those who have served, and I thank you for your gratitude; but every time I read of another young boy mangled by the experience of war, I wonder at how cheaply our willingness to put our youngsters into harm's way is bought with a couple of high-school marching band songs, a shiny red fire engine siren and a look at a Huey on a float rolling by, and how easily we allow ourselves to ignore the parade of suffering in VA hospitals and private homes across the nation.

I love my country, and I hope it loves its children enough to think much longer and much harder before sending them off to fight.

Mike


Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Why has the media, including the PW, neglected to report how many of our young men and women in Afghanistan have died this past week or month? I was saddened to hear how many of our Vets are committing suicide each week, and especially for those who are waiting for V.A. benefits. Shame on us.


Posted by Kathleen, a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I live in San Jose, I already come to your wonderful county fair each year, now I will start coming over for your Veterans Day parade also, it sounds great!. My city just does not care anymore. I was born and raised here and it makes me sad......


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Nov 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm

A war is an extremely traumatic event. Thousands of people worldwide have committed suicide during and after a war.

Americans have exhibited little concern for the physical and mental health needs of veterans and their families.


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