Rain holds off for Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Rain holds off for Veterans Day Parade in Gulfport

Civilians and veterans alike came together for a day of patriotic celebration. (Photo source: Chris Vines) Civilians and veterans alike came together for a day of patriotic celebration. (Photo source: Chris Vines)
More than 75 organizations represented at the big event that culminated in Jones Park. (Photo source: Chris Vines) More than 75 organizations represented at the big event that culminated in Jones Park. (Photo source: Chris Vines)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The wet weather held off just long enough for thousands to take to the streets in downtown Gulfport for the 15th annual Veterans Day Parade Saturday.

"It's a good representation of the freedom of the people," said spectator, Sam Fisher.

Civilians and veterans alike came together for a day of patriotic celebration. Floats, marching bands, waving flags and proud Americans filled the streets of downtown Gulfport.

"To see an event like this is just really heartwarming to me," said Vietnam veteran, Colonel A.P. Gartman.

According to Gartman, not all communities celebrate vets like the coast does. And any event to show appreciation is a good in Gartman's book.

"There can never be enough thank yous for the individuals who gave us the freedom to do this," Gartman noted.

Gartman wasn't the only veteran enjoying the day of cheering and smiling faces. Navy veteran, Curt Speck, saw the day as an opportunity to educate his children on what it means to appreciate the military. 

Speck agrees that the coast has a unique perspective on the men and women who serve, and says other cities throughout the U.S. may not show the same type of support.

"Here it seems that they are very appreciative. It's a very humbling experience," said Speck.

There were more than 75 organizations represented at the big event that culminated in Jones Park. Vietnam veteran, George York, says he now feels appreciated for the sacrifices he made for the country.

"Because I feel like they know now what we went through," said York.

York also says that the coast is a special place to live for military personnel, both active and retired. Mayor Billy Hewes agreed.

"A lot of it is because of the impact of the military, our men and women in uniform who made the sacrifice and really the families who support them so they can go and do what all they do," said Hewes.

More than 2200 men and women marched in Saturday's Gulf Coast Veterans Parade.

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