OGDEN — Retired Air Force Col. Timothy Healy pulled at his jacket Saturday, straightening it a tad before sirens blared to start the seventh annual Veterans Day Parade.
This was the first time Healy, 74, of Pleasant View, had marched in the parade. “It is significant for our citizens to remember the sacrifices made by all the military personnel over the years,” he said.
The parade, hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1481, started on Washington Boulevard at 31st Street and ended at 23rd Street.
This year, the color guard honored all military personnel from every branch of service, from all conflicts, including peacetime veterans, as well as prisoners of war.
The parade’s theme was “Saluting America’s Veterans of Peace and War — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”
The threat of snow showers didn’t dampen the mood of the participants or those watching the parade.
Whistles shrilled in the air as bagpipes belted out “The Marines’ Hymn.”
Cub Scouts riding in trailers and marching in the parade waved flags as their parents snapped photos. World War II veterans, wrapped in blankets sitting in trucks or in trailers, waved to their adult children, who snapped photos.
Some parade watchers waved signs painted in red, white and blue with the words, “Thank you,” while others cheered and yelled out “thank you” to all those in the parade.
Lori Petterson, of West Weber, has attended the parade with her family every year since it first started.
“We come no matter the weather,” she said. “We come to honor our vets. My father served in World War II, and my uncle served in the Vietnam War.”
Her husband’s 92-year-old father, Wendell Peterson, of West Weber, also served in World War II.
Air Force Sgt. James Gosselin, of the Air Control 729 Squadron, said being in the parade means a lot to him. His father and grandfather both served in the military, and “everything they have done has made me the person I am today,” he said.
Gosselin said he and the other 30 members of his squadron are trying to set a good example for those who are younger.
Retired Army Platoon Sgt. Ken Moffat, of Ogden, marched in the parade for the third year in a row as part of the Northern Utah Vietnam Group.
“We’ve lost a lot of vets,” Moffat said. “We need to pay our respects.”