Victorville Old Town Parade & Veterans Ceremony
The City of Victorville and the American G.I. Forum Education Foundation presented the 18th Annual Veterans Day Parade and Celebration on Tuesday, November 11.
The first event took place on November 9, 1996, with the dedication of the Veteran’s Memorial, located at 7th Street and Forrest Avenue in the Victorville Old Town area.
This year’s parade attracted a large crowd who waved flags and cheered as floats, bands, and a wide variety of other entries rolled by. These included high school bands and ROTC groups, as well as veterans organizations like the Tuskeegee Airmen, Orenda Foundation, High Desert Marines, Disabled Veterans, plus independent clubs such as the Girl Scouts, Antique Tractor Association, and several Route 66 Beauty Pageant winners. County Supervisor Robert Lovingood rode on a San Bernardino County Fire engine at the end.
The ceremony featured a welcome by Victorville Mayor Pro Tem Ryan McEachron, a speech by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, and a Keynote Address by Mr. Robert L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.) and Public Affairs Officer for the Marine Corps.
A special presentation was made to Richard Daggett, a highly decorated Army airman who attended Victor Valley High School. Daggett flew more than 25 air missions over hostile territory, and was presented with a glass-encased award with metal soldier figures in appreciation.
LTC felix Diaz gave the closing remarks, a closing prayer was said, and Taps was played by Edason Freer from Riverside Preparatory.
A popular local band, Latin Express, played oldies as attendees slowly departed from the ceremony.
Hesperia Veterans Day Ceremony
The Hesperia Veterans Day Ceremony started off with a welcome and Call for Colors by Larry Thompson, AMVETS Post 2007; Presentation of Colors by Sultana ROTC, the National Anthem sung by SPC Shakira Burke; Invocation by Page Stieringer, AMVETS Chaplain; and letters to Veterans were read by Cedar Middle School, Sarah Allsman.
Guest speakers were Lieutenant Colonel James M. Stephens and Tim Donnelly. Stephens comes from Georgia, and some of his words were: “Our fellow soldier is why we run toward gunfire instead of away from it. We read letters from home over and over. We smell letters. We stand in line for hours for a ten minute phone call. We read e-mails over and over.”
The Flag Folding Ceremony was performed by Sultana ROTC, and a Silverwing Dove Release was done by Bob and Verna Chandler.
A 21 Gun Salute was given by Team Regimental Support Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and Taps was played by SPC Karen Compton to end the ceremony.